After several years of losses, Michigan experience a growth 1.6 percent for manufacturing jobs, amounting to a gain of 10,252 jobs between February 2011 and February 2012, according to the 2012 Michigan Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published each year by Manufacturers’ News Inc. in Evanston, Ill. 

This now puts Michigan as the home to 14,286 manufacturers employing 638,336 workers.

“The recovery is gaining momentum in Michigan and across the U.S.,” says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. “Michigan’s 1.6 percent employment gain across a variety of industrial sectors reflects the state’s continued effort to promote an educated work force and friendly business environment.”

Among Michigan’s industrial sectors, transportation equipment manufacturing remains the largest industry employment with 125,746 jobs, an increase of 1.7 percent over the year. Industrial machinery and equipment is this second largest industry with 118,418 jobs, also up 1.7 percent. Fabricated metals comes in at the No. 3 spot, accounting for 77,547 jobs, a decline of 1.2 percent.

Of the manufacturing sectors that gained jobs over the year include electronics at 9.1 percent; chemicals and allied products at 7 percent; instruments and related products at 5.3 percent; stone, clay and glass at 3.5 percent; furniture and fixtures at 2.2 percent; rubber and plastics at 1.9 percent; and textiles and apparel at 1.7 percent. Manufacturing sectors that recorded losses are printing and publishing at 4.8 percent, lumber and wood at 2.7 percent, and paper products at 1.2 percent.

Southeast Michigan boasts the most industrial workers in the state with 370,192 jobs, an increase of 1.8 percent while Southwest Michigan offers 199,919 jobs, up 2.9 percent. Northwest Michigan employs 32,300 jobs, up 0.5 percent, and Northeast Michigan has 20,683 industrial workers, which is mostly unchanged. Employment also remained steady in the Upper Peninsula as it employs 15,242 manufacturing jobs. 

Grand Rapids is still the state’s top city by industrial employment housing 39,410 manufacturing jobs with no major change reported. Detroit offers 32,031 industrial jobs, a decline of 2 percent, while jobs increased by 12.9 percent in Auburn Hills.