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Illinois Lost More Than 7,000 Manufacturing Jobs In 2015

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, February 29th, 2016/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Illinois manufacturing employment declined over the past year, reports the 2016 Illinois Manufacturers Directory®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Illinois lost 7,087 manufacturing jobs from December 2014 to December 2015, a one percent decline.

Illinois is now home to 17,642 manufacturers employing 803,416 workers. According to data collected by MNI, the state lost 107,496 jobs between December 2007 and December 2010, and has since struggled to recover those losses, posting a net gain of just 1,554 jobs, or less than one percent, for years 2011-2015.

“High business costs continue to put a dent in Illinois’ manufacturing growth, and job losses in 2015 were further exacerbated by a budget stalemate, making it hard for the state to incentivize companies seeking an exit from or relocation to the state,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, Illinois still has many attractive features for manufacturers, including an educated workforce and ideal proximity to distribution and supply chain hubs.”

According to MNI’s database, most of Illinois’ top industries suffered declines over the year. Industrial machinery and equipment, the state’s largest industry by number of jobs, posted a one percent decline to 130,809 workers, while second-ranked fabricated metals was virtually unchanged at 91,597 jobs. Third-ranked food processing declined 1% to 90,981 industrial jobs.

Additionally, MNI recorded employment losses for printing/publishing, down 3.5%; textiles/apparel, down 3.2%; electronics, down 2.9%; stone/clay/glass, down 2.8%; transportation equipment, down 2.7%; furniture/fixtures, down 2.6%; lumber/wood, down 2%; and primary metals, down 1.7%.

Several Illinois manufacturers announced plant closings in 2015 including Mitsubishi, which shuttered its factory in Normal after thirty years, and slot machine manufacturer WMS Industries, which moved its operations from Waukegan to Las Vegas. Other closures included Honeywell Systems Sensor in St. Charles; Telesource Services LLC in Bensenville; Modine Manufacturing in Ringwood; and Caterpillar supplier Bergstrom, Inc. in Joliet.

MNI recorded employment gains for only two Illinois industries in 2015: rubber/plastics, which grew 2.2%, and paper products, up a half percent.

Illinois did draw a few new manufacturers to the state in 2015, reports MNI, including cleaning products company Method, which opened a facility on Chicago’s South Side, and Revolution Enterprises, which started up a large marijuana processing plant in downstate Barry. In addition, aviation systems manufacturer Woodward Inc. opened its second Illinois factory in Niles.

MNI’s regional data shows Southwest Illinois accounted for the largest share of losses, with jobs down 4% to its current level of 36,550 workers. Industrial employment in the state’s East Central region dropped 3% to 49,865 jobs, and dipped 2.9% in West Central Illinois to 52,400 jobs. MNI recorded a 1.8% gain for Southeast Illinois, currently home to 28,597 workers, and a half percent gain for Northwest Illinois, now home to 70,909.

Jobs fell a half percent in Northeast Illinois, which accounts for 70% of the state’s industrial workforce or 565,095 jobs. Cook County accounts for 296,846 of those jobs, and also saw a half percent decline in 2015. Industrial employment fell in most of the collar counties with Will County down 2.9%; DuPage, down 1.8%; Kane, down 1.3%; and McHenry, down 1%.

Lake County, however, saw another year of industrial employment gains, with jobs up 1.6% in 2015. Lake County manufacturing employment has grown steadily over the past several years, reports MNI, adding 3,232 jobs or nearly 6% since 2011.

City data collected by MNI shows Chicago lost 1,972 manufacturing jobs in 2015, or 1.8%, with 1,695 of these jobs lost due to companies relocating operations elsewhere in the state. Chicago remains the state’s top city by number of industrial jobs, with a workforce of 105,339.

Jobs in second-ranked Elk Grove Village declined a half percent to 19,558, and rose 1.1% in third-ranked Rockford to 19,108. Fourth-ranked Elgin accounts for 12,251 jobs, up 1.4% in 2015, while Wheeling ranks fifth with 11,586, up 2.4% over the year.

Detailed profiles of all Illinois manufacturers can be found in the 2016 Illinois Manufacturers Directory® 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: allows users to tap into a live interactive database of manufacturers, while its industrial search engine IndustryNet 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.
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