SOURCE: Manufacturers' News, Inc.

April 24, 2008 09:05 ET

Alabama Manufacturers Guide Reports State Lost 7,700 Industrial Jobs

EVANSTON, IL--(Marketwire - April 24, 2008) - Industrial employment in Alabama dropped 2.2% over the past 12 months according to the 2008 Alabama Manufacturers Register, a compilation of state industry published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. The Alabama industrial directory reports the state lost 7,716 industrial jobs from March 2007 to March 2008 -- a slightly higher loss than MNI reported lost in the state during the 2006-2007 period.

According to earlier MNI reports, Alabama lost 1.1% of its manufacturing jobs between 2005 and 2006, and then lost another 2% between 2006 and 2007. Alabama's losses were comparable to other Southeast states with North Carolina down 2.3%, Florida down 2% and South Carolina down 4%, according to earlier MNI reports.

"Even though manufacturing activity is at a record high, outsourcing, consolidation and increased technology have contributed to industrial employment declines across the nation," says Tom Dubin, President of Manufacturers' News, which has been surveying U.S. industry since 1912.

The manufacturers directory reports Alabama is home to 6,165 manufacturers employing 342,700 workers. Alabama ranks 22nd in the nation for number of manufacturers and 19th for jobs, due to a larger number of large manufacturers operating in the state. MNI reports 3.6% of the state's manufacturers employ 250-500 workers, compared to the national average of 2.2%. Alabama accounts for 8.5% of the Southeast's manufacturers and 9.5% of the region's industrial jobs.

According to MNI, Northeast Alabama accounts for the most industrial employment in the state, with 178,922 jobs, down 1.4% or 2,563 jobs over the past 12 months. Southeast Alabama represents 66,032 of the state's jobs, down 3.6% or 2,436 jobs. Northwest Alabama is home to 51,746 of the state's workers, down 3.2% or 1,686 jobs, while the Southwest accounts for 46,000 manufacturing employees, down 2.2% or 1,031 jobs over the year.

MNI's city data shows Birmingham manufacturers employ 39,164 of the state's industrial workers, down 1,364 jobs or 3.4% over the past 12 months. MNI reports Birmingham is among the top 50 manufacturing cities in the nation, ranking 39th in the U.S. for number of industrial jobs. Huntsville ranks second in the state for employment with 28,403 jobs, up 3.6% from a year ago, while Montgomery is third in the state with 14,861 industrial workers, down just 62 jobs. Mobile accounts for 14,287 jobs, with no significant change posted over the year, while Decatur is down the most at 1,054 jobs or 8.5% and currently accounts for 11,375 industrial workers.

Manufacturers' News reports transportation equipment manufacturing is the state's leading sector, with 39,670 industrial jobs, down 2.8% over the past 12 months. Losses in this sector were offset somewhat by increased hiring by BAE Systems and GKN Aerospace. The food products sector accounts for another 38,664 jobs, down 1% over the year, while fabricated metal products manufacturing employs 29,265 Alabama workers, down 2%.

Other sectors losing employment include furniture/fixtures, down 6.4%; paper/allied products, down 7.7%; chemicals, down 1.2%; rubber and miscellaneous plastics, down 8%; and electronics, down 2.4%. Textiles/apparel were down the most at 12% after the closings of WestPoint Home facilities in Abbeville, Opelika and Valley.

Employment gains were seen in the primary metals, up 3.8% despite the closing of Wolverine Tube in Decatur, and stone, clay, glass and concrete, up 3.8% over the year.

Detailed profiles of Alabama's 6,165 manufacturers and 728 industrial distributors can be found in the 2008 Alabama Manufacturers Register, available in print for $102 and on CD-ROM from $161. Each profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information (phone, web, e-mail), names and titles of 19,933 executives by name and title, product(s) manufactured, annual sales, number of employees, and more. Visitors to may generate custom profiles of manufacturers using thirteen different criteria, including area or zip code, county, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more.

Manufacturers' News, Inc., publisher of manufacturers' directories since 1912, compiles and produces manufacturing guides, statistics and databases for all 50 states. For more information, contact Manufacturers' News, Inc., 1633 Central St., Evanston, IL, 60201, 847-864-7000, FAX 847-332-1100.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer Ratcliff
    Manufacturers' News, Inc.
    (847) 864-9440 ext. 241
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