Industrial employment in Indiana increased by roughly 1 percent, accounting for a gain of 5,184 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012, according to the 2012 Indiana Manufacturers Directory, a directory published each year by Manufacturers' News Inc. in Evanston, Ill.
This report shows that Indiana now houses 9,751 manufacturers employing 555,578 workers.
"Following several years of job losses, Indiana is finally seeing a renaissance in its manufacturing sector," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "The state's friendly business environment and solid infrastructure have been a draw for a variety of enterprises, particularly in the auto sector."
All of Indiana's three largest industrial sectors by employment boast job gains, the survey finds. The transportation equipment sector is Indiana's largest industrial employer with 83,869 jobs, a 2.3 percent increase over the year, while industrial machinery and equipment is the second largest sector with 69,757 jobs, up 1.9 percent. The fabricated metal industry ranks as the third largest sector employing 54,804 jobs, up 0.5 percent over the last year.
Among the other sectors that gained jobs in the last year are furniture and fixtures at 3.7 percent, primary metals at 1.6 percent, food products at 1.1 percent, rubber and plastics at 0.5 percent, and electronics at 0.5 percent. Losses are reported in lumber and wood at minus 6.1 percent; stone, clay and glass at minus 5.5 percent; textiles and apparel at minus 3.3 percent; printing and publishing at minus 2.8 percent; and paper products at minus 1 percent.
The most industrial employment in Indiana is found in the east central region with 146,318 jobs, a decline of 0.5 percent in the last year. Northeast Indiana employs 141,465 industrial workers, a 1 percent increase, while the northwest region provides 89,477 jobs, down 1.3 percent. Southwest Indiana has 70,831 jobs for a 5.8 percent increase, and the southeast region employs 56,593 industrial workers. The west central region provides 50,894 manufacturing jobs, a 3.1 percent uptick.
Indianapolis ranks the state's primary city for industrial employment with 74,655 manufacturing jobs. There is no significant change in employment in Indianapolis. Fort Wayne employs 25,186 jobs, which is also nearly unchanged. Elkhart provides 22,518 jobs, an increase of 1.7 percent, and Evansville accounts for 17,239 jobs, a 1.5 percent increase. Following those cities is Lafayette with 14,274 jobs, up 3.2 percent.