Manufacturing employment in Washington inched up over the past 12 months, according to recent data collected by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports manufacturers in Washington added 1,191 jobs from March 2016 to March 2017, amounting to a one-half percent gain.
This is the sixth straight year the state added industrial jobs, though gains reported in the past two years have been slighter than in the years following the end of the recession. Currently, Washington's 6,655 manufacturers employ 314,987 people.
"Washington state's abundance of skilled labor and access to capital has drawn some key innovative enterprises to its borders, particularly in the aerospace and electronics industries, and the state has in turn secured significant post-recession manufacturing gains," said Tom Dubin, MNI president. "However, gains have slowed over the past couple years as increased global competition has put a dent in growth."
The transportation equipment industry ranked first in the state for industrial jobs, employing 53,194 people. Recent reports suggest the industry should see sustained growth in the next several years with the opening of Boeing's new facility at its Everett campus, along with the establishment of a SpaceX development facility in Redmond, which may lead to a satellite manufacturing facility in Kent.
Among the sectors adding jobs in the state included food processing, industrial machinery, rubber/plastics, electronics and paper products. Job losses were reported in primary metals, stone/clay/glass and chemicals.
Industrial locations announcing closures in Washington included Olympic Panel Products, which shuttered its facility in Shelton; Graphic Packaging International, which closed its Renton facility; and Spectrum Glass Co., which ceased operations at its Woodinville factory.
Seattle remains the state's top city for industrial employment with 44,336 jobs. Second-ranked Redmond accounted for 36,362 industrial jobs, while Everett was third with 29,423.
For more information, visit www.mni.net.