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Arkansas Manufacturing Employment Declined 1% In The Past Year

 
 
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
1633 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at] manufacturersnews.com





EVANSTON, Ill, December 8th, 2015/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Manufacturing employment in Arkansas declined slightly over the past year, reports the 2016 Arkansas Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Arkansas shed 1,354 industrial jobs from 2014 to September 2015, or 1%, continuing the downward slide the state has experienced since the recession.

MNI reports Arkansas lost about 14% of its industrial employment between September 2007 and September 2013. MNI’s 2013-2014 survey showed a slight gain of 645 jobs, but its industrial employment dipped again over the past year. The state is now home to 3,291 manufacturers employing 192,456 workers.

“While many states have seen strong post-recession growth, Arkansas has struggled to come back from the downturn,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “Although the state’s low cost of doing business and abundant natural resources has appealed to many companies, a shortage of skilled workers as well as a stronger dollar has put a dent in growth.”

Growth stalled over the year in food processing, the state’s top sector by manufacturing jobs. The food processing industry currently employs 49,577 in Arkansas. Second-ranked industrial machinery posted a gain of 2.1% to 16,365 jobs, reports MNI, while employment fell 5.3% in third-ranked fabricated metals to 15,161.

Employment in most other Arkansas industries reported losses, according to MNI, with jobs in furniture/fixtures down 14%; instruments/related products down 11%; chemicals, down 4.1%; paper products, down 2.7%; stone/clay/glass, down 2.2%; printing/publishing, down 1.7%; and transportation equipment, down 1.6%.

Industrial locations announcing closures included store fixture manufacturer LA Darling’s plants in Piggott and Corning; Superior Industries in Rogers; APEX tool, which moved its Springdale operations to South Carolina; and a Saint-Gobain facility in Fort Smith.

Losses were offset by employment gains reported in the rubber/plastics industry, up 5.5%, as well as the primary metals sector, up 1.5%.

Bright spots for the state included Micro Plastics’ plans to break ground on a new facility in Melbourne as well as expansions announced by Hanesbrands; American Railcar Industries; Baxter International; and Aerojet Rocketdyne.

MNI’s regional analysis shows losses were mostly concentrated in Northwest Arkansas, which currently accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 109,076 jobs and saw employment decline 1%. Southeast Arkansas also posted a loss, down 3.5% to 15,609 jobs. Employment was virtually unchanged in Northeast and Southwest Arkansas, home to 36,474 and 31,297 jobs, respectively.

Employment in Springdale declined 2.5%, with the city home to the most manufacturing jobs in the state, numbering 13,593. Little Rock declined 1.8% over the year, with the second-ranked city home to 12,585 jobs. Employment was down 2.9% in third-ranked Fort Smith, which currently accounts for 11,837 jobs, while employment held steady at 6,807 jobs in fourth-ranked Rogers. Jobs fell 6.8% in fifth-ranked Pine Bluff, which currently accounts for 6,087 workers.

Detailed profiles of all Arkansas manufacturers can be found in the 2016 Arkansas Manufacturers Register® available in print or online. Established in 1912, Manufacturers' News, Inc. is the nation’s oldest and largest publisher of industrial information. MNI offers a variety of tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers, from print directories to online subscriptions. MNI’s industrial database subscription service EZ Select: http://www.ezselect.com allows users to tap into a live interactive database of manufacturers, while its industrial search engine IndustryNet http://www.industrynet.com connects buyers and suppliers and allows users to view profiles and obtain competitive quotes. MNI’s traditional print directories are published for each state and include in-depth profiles of every manufacturer in the U.S. For more information, contact Manufacturers' News, Inc. 847-864-7000. http://www.manufacturersnews.com
 
 
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