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Kentucky Gained Manufacturing Jobs For A Fifth Straight Year

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

EVANSTON, Ill, December 28th, 2015/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Kentucky manufacturing employment climbed for a fifth straight year, reports the 2016 Kentucky Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Kentucky gained 3,151 manufacturing jobs from October 2014 to October 2015, or 1.1%.

Kentucky is now home to 4,924 manufacturers employing 292,001 workers. MNI reports the state has so far added 17,665 industrial jobs or 6.4% since October 2010.

Kentucky has reinvented itself as a hotbed for auto manufacturing following the recession’s steep losses,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “Its labor costs are among the lowest in the nation, and its favorable business environment continues to draw manufacturers to the state, with the transportation equipment industry growing by a third since 2010.”

MNI reports gains were led by the transportation equipment industry, which increased 7.4% over the year and has climbed steadily over the past several years, adding 13,036 jobs or 35% since October 2010. Transportation equipment ranks as the state’s largest sector by number of jobs, employing 49,863.

By comparison, employment in Tennessee’s transportation equipment industry grew 5.4% over the year, and currently employs 51,001. Proportionately, Kentucky’s transportation equipment sector accounts for a larger percentage of overall industrial employment, accounting for 17% of the state’s factory jobs, compared to Tennessee’s 13%.

Kentucky’s transportation equipment sector is expected to keep growing as Ford expands hiring at its Louisville plant and GM adds jobs at its Bowling Green facility. Several Kentucky auto suppliers announced openings over the year, including IWIS, which broke ground on a facility in Murray; American Howa Kentucky, which announced plans to open a plant in Midway; TWB, which will open a facility in Glasgow; and Grupo Antolin, which plans to establish two factories in Louisville, eventually employing 200.

Food processing, the state’s second largest industry by manufacturing employment, also added jobs, up 1.3% to 33,882, while third-ranked industrial machinery grew a half percent, now employing 28,838.

Other Kentucky industries adding jobs over the year included lumber/wood, up 3.4%; fabricated metals, up 2.9%; stone/clay/glass, up 1.7%; paper products, up 1.4%; and rubber/plastics, up 1.3%.

Kentucky industries that lost jobs over the year included electronics, down 4.6%; textiles/apparel, down 3.2%; printing/publishing, down 2.5%; and chemicals, down 1%.

Industrial locations announcing closures included two Regal Beloit electric motor plants in Mount Sterling and Winchester, and frozen meal processor Gourmet Express in Greenville.

MNI’s regional data shows Northwest Kentucky accounted for the largest share of gains, with jobs up 2.9% to its current level of 36,477 workers. Industrial employment in the state’s Southwest region rose 2% to 50,662 jobs, and rose one percent in Northeast Kentucky, currently accounting for 162,626 jobs. Manufacturing employment was down a half percent in Southeast Kentucky, now home to 42,236 workers.

City data collected by MNI shows Louisville is Kentucky’s top city by manufacturing employment, up 2.7% over the year to 57,331 jobs. Second-ranked Lexington lost 3% of its industrial employment, and now accounts for 18,050 jobs. Industrial jobs in Bowling Green fell 1% to 13,695, and rose a half percent in fourth-ranked Florence to 11,309. Fifth-ranked Georgetown accounts for 9,789 manufacturing jobs, reports MNI, up 4.9%.

Detailed profiles of all Kentucky manufacturers can be found in the 2016 Kentucky 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: 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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