SOURCE: Manufacturers' News, Inc.

March 18, 2008 10:15 ET

Iowa Lost 2,900 Manufacturing Jobs in 2007 Reports State Industrial Directory

EVANSTON, IL--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - Iowa lost manufacturing jobs for the first time in several years, according to the 2008 Iowa Manufacturers Register, a compilation of state industry published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Iowa's industrial job loss totaled 2,951 in 2007 -- a drop of 1%, and the number of manufacturers in the state dropped by 114 or 1.8%.

The industrial directory's regional analysis indicates Iowa's employment losses reflect those seen by its neighbors. According to earlier MNI reports, Wisconsin and Illinois each suffered a 1.5% loss in industrial employment, Minnesota saw a 1.7% loss and Missouri lost 4%. A five-year analysis shows Iowa achieved a net increase in manufacturing employment, contrary to the steep losses suffered by the rest of the Midwest and generally agreeing with gains seen in the Mountain Plains states.

"Although many manufacturers continue to be lured by cheaper labor costs overseas, the agricultural nature of Iowa's industry may provide some immunity to the outsourcing that has cost the country so many manufacturing jobs," says Thomas Dubin President of MNI.

Manufacturers' News reports Iowa is home to 6,137 manufacturers employing 287,978 workers. Iowa ranks 23rd in the nation for number of manufacturers and 22nd for jobs, accounting for 5.3% of the Midwest's manufacturers and 5.6% of the region's jobs. MNI surveys manufacturers of all sizes, including small companies with just a few employees.

According to MNI's industry data, food products manufacturing remains Iowa's largest manufacturing sector by employment, representing 57,698 of the state's jobs, or 20%, with employment down a half percent in 2007. Plant closings in this sector included Iowa Quality Meats, which closed its Clive-based pork plant in 2007. Industrial machinery and equipment accounts for 49,452 of the state's jobs, down 1,998 or 3.9%. Fabricated metal manufacturing is the state's 3rd largest industrial sector, accounting for 23,744 jobs, down a half percent in 2007.

Other sectors losing employment include textiles and apparel, down 6%; lumber and wood, down 1.8%; and furniture and fixtures, down 14% after WoodMarc closed its bedroom furniture plant in Winterset. Transportation equipment was down 2.4% and electronics manufacturing dropped 4.9%. Printing and publishing was one of the few sectors to gain employment, up 7% in 2007.

East Central Iowa represents 35% of the state's industrial employment, or 101,848 jobs, down 1.8% or 1,830 jobs over the year. Major plant closings in the region include Maytag's closure in Newton, and an Ames-based Clarion Technologies plastics plant. Southeast Iowa accounts for the second most at 60,973 jobs, down a half percent in 2007. Iowa's West Central region accounts for 55,644 jobs, with no significant change reported, while Northeast Iowa is down just a half percent and currently employs 27,699. Northwest Iowa increased employment by 1.2% and currently employs 25,260, while the Southwest region employs 16,555, down 3.6%, due partially to Victor Plastics, which closed its Kalona facility last year.

According to MNI's city data, Cedar Rapids is home to the most industrial employment in Iowa, accounting for 20,129 manufacturing jobs, up a half percent over the year. Des Moines accounts for the second most jobs in the state at 18,742 jobs, down 1% in 2007. Waterloo ranks third with 14,973 employees, up 3.6% over the year while fourth-ranked Davenport is home to 9,446 industrial jobs, down a half percent. Dubuque is home to 9,206 manufacturing jobs, down 4.1% in 2007.

Detailed profiles of Iowa's 6,137 manufacturers and 523 industrial distributors can be found in the 2008 Iowa Manufacturers Register, available in print for $102 and on CD-ROM from $159. Each profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information (phone, web, e-mail), names and titles of 19,051 key executives, product(s) manufactured, annual sales, number of employees, and more. Visitors to may generate custom company selections 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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