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Washington Manufacturing Employment Growth Stalls


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

EVANSTON, Ill, May 16th, 2016/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Washington manufacturing job growth stalled over the past year, reports the 2016 Washington Manufacturers Directory®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Washington gained a net 633 factory jobs from February 2015 to February 2016, following four straight years of robust growth.

Washington is now home to 6,655 industrial companies employing 312,956 workers. MNI data shows factory employment in Washington climbed 6.3% between February 2011 and February 2015, recovering all jobs lost during the recession.

“Layoffs at Boeing have put a dent in Washington’s industrial employment levels, and exports are lagging due to a stronger dollar, making it difficult for many manufacturers to expand,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, the state is a hotbed for innovation, and its abundance of project funding and skilled labor pool is a huge draw for manufacturers.”

MNI reports the transportation equipment sector accounts for the most manufacturing jobs in Washington State, employing 53,016, with no significant change reported over the year. Second-ranked food products accounts for 42,931 industrial jobs, down 3.9%, while third-ranked industrial machinery held steady at 30,912 jobs.

Washington State manufacturing sectors that gained jobs included rubber/plastics, up 3.3%; fabricated metals, up 2.7%; stone/clay/glass, up 1.6%; and textiles/apparel, up 1.5%. Losses were reported in primary metals, down 3.7%; chemicals, down 3.5%; electronics, down 2.4%, and instruments/related products, also down 2.4%.

Industrial facilities closing in Washington included Simpson’s Lumber Company in Shelton, Bradken, Inc’s steel castings facility in Chehalis; and Kinross Gold Corp. in Republic.

Bright spots for the state included the opening of Greenfab’s sustainable new prefab housing facility, and the establishment of Cannon Fish Co.’s fish processing plant in Kent.

MNI’s regional data shows Washington’s Northwest region accounts for the most industrial jobs in the state, holding steady at 207,053 workers. Second-ranked Southwest Washington is home to 64,318 industrial jobs, down 1% over the year. Northeast Washington held steady at 21,962 jobs, while Southeast Washington posted a 2.6% decline, and is now home to 19,623 jobs.

City data collected by MNI shows Seattle is Washington’s top city by number of manufacturing jobs, down 1.4% to 43,646 jobs. Employment in second-ranked Redmond declined a half percent to 37,198 jobs. Employment fell 1.2% in third-ranked Everett to 29,270 workers, but rose 1.3% in Kent to 18,841. Spokane ranks fifth with 12,457 workers, down 1% over the year.

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. 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. For more information, contact Manufacturers' News, Inc. 847-864-7000.
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