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West Virginia Manufacturing Jobs Decline 1.4%

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

EVANSTON, Ill, October 12th, 2015/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Manufacturing employment in West Virginia declined over the past year, reports the 2016 West Virginia Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, West Virginia lost 1,184 industrial jobs from July 2014 to July 2015, or 1.4%.

Manufacturers’ News reports West Virginia is now home to 1,741 manufacturers employing 78,144 workers.

West Virginia continues to struggle with the decline in the coal industry, and with depressed natural gas prices, employment in the state’s oil and gas sector has come to a halt,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, several companies, are beginning to take note of the state’s ideal location for access to markets on the eastern seaboard, as well as its low business costs.”

Job losses were led by the coal mining industry, with employment falling 4% in that sector. Coal mining ranks first in the state for industrial employment, employing 10,445.

The second-ranked industrial machinery sector also posted a loss, down 2.6% over the year to its current level of 7,796 jobs. Employment in the state’s chemical processing sector dropped 1.5%, with the third-ranked industry now employing 7,667.

According to MNI data, employment in the state’s oil/gas industry stalled over the survey period. Growth in the oil/gas extraction sector has helped offset industrial employment losses over the past several years, reports MNI, with jobs climbing 16% from the end of the recession to July 2014. Currently, that sector accounts for 3,774 jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago.

MNI reports additional job losses were recorded in electronics, down 5%; stone/clay/glass, down 2.6%; fabricated metals, down 2.5%; printing/publishing, down 2.4%; and rubber/plastics, down 1.6%. Only two sectors posted notable employment gains: primary metals, which saw jobs rise 4.3%, and medical instruments/related products, up 1.9%.

Industrial locations announcing closures included railroad tie maker Kopper’s Inc. in Green Spring. In addition, Patriot Coal announced last week that it will be laying off 2,000 workers at several mines across West Virginia.

Bright spots for the Mountain State included Procter & Gamble’s announcement that it will build a $500 million manufacturing site in Berkley County, eventually employing 700. In addition, Hino Motors plans to expand its truck assembly plant in Williamstown.

MNI’s regional analysis indicates losses were spread out across West Virginia, with jobs in the south of the state down 5% to 5,409 jobs, and down 1.4% in the state’s western region to its current level of 33,449. West Virginia’s northern region accounts for 39,286 industrial jobs, 1% less than a year ago.

Industrial jobs in Huntington fell 1.1% over the year, reports MNI, with the city home to the most manufacturing jobs in the state, numbering 5,507. Morgantown posted a 2% loss, with the second-ranked city home to 5,100 jobs. Employment held steady at 3,380 jobs in third-ranked Moorefield, but declined 4.3% in fourth-ranked Charleston to 2,777 jobs. Martinsburg ranks fifth with 2,676 industrial workers, down 1.1% over the year.

Detailed profiles of all West Virginia manufacturers can be found in the 2016 West Virginia 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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