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Rhode Island Manufacturing Employment Declined Slightly In 2015

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

EVANSTON, Ill, March 23rd, 2016/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Rhode Island manufacturing employment was little changed over the past year, reports the 2016 Rhode Island Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Rhode Island lost 279 manufacturing jobs from December 2014 to December 2015, a half percent decline – the first decline MNI has recorded since the 2011-2012 survey period.

Rhode Island is now home to 1,634 manufacturers employing 58,278 workers. According to MNI, the state lost 15% of its industrial employment between December 2007 and December 2012, and recovered 20% of those lost jobs between December 2012 and December 2014.

“High business costs, aging infrastructure, and limited capital funding have put a dent in Rhode Island’s manufacturing growth,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, the state still holds much appeal for manufacturers, including a highly-educated workforce, and a variety of competitive incentive packages.”

According to MNI’s database, losses were led by the state’s industrial machinery sector, which suffered a 3.5% decline. Industrial machinery ranks fourth in the state for manufacturing employment, employing 5,174, reports MNI. Employment in the second-ranked fabricated metals industry held steady at 5,700 jobs, and jobs in first-ranked miscellaneous manufacturing, which includes jewelry manufacturing, were unchanged at 6,638.

Additional losses were reported in stone/clay/glass, down 13%; rubber/plastics, down 5.5%; lumber/wood, down 4.4%; primary metals, down 2.1%; and electronics, down 1.1%

Industrial locations announcing closures included lottery ticket machine maker GTECH in Coventry; Osram Sylvania’s light bulb plant in Central Falls; and Waukesha Bearings’ location in West Greenwich.

Losses were offset by gains in the state’s third-ranked transportation equipment industry, with jobs up 5.6%, following the expansion at GE’s Electric Boat submarine facility in North Kingstown. Transportation equipment manufacturing ranks third in the state for industrial employment, employing 5,422.

Additional boons to the state included the opening of Greencore’s large sandwich facility in Quonset Business Park. Job gains also were recorded in the textiles/apparel and medical instruments sectors, each up one percent.

City data collected by MNI shows Providence remains Rhode Island’s top city by number of manufacturing jobs, accounting for 7,452 workers, down 6% in 2015. Second-ranked Pawtucket accounts for 7,067 workers, with no significant change reported. Industrial employment in North Kingstown climbed 6.3% to 6,684 workers, and held steady at 5,390 jobs in fourth-ranked Cranston. Warwick ranks fifth with 4,228 jobs, up 4.2% over the year.

Detailed profiles of all Rhode Island manufacturers can be found in the 2016 Rhode Island 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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