Industrial employment in New Jersey has fallen 6.4 percent since the beginning of the recession according to the 2010 New Jersey Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports New Jersey lost 29,568 manufacturing jobs since December 2007, with 11,724 jobs lost between December 2007 and December 2008 and 17,844 industrial jobs from 2008 to December of 2009. Over the same period of time, New Jersey lost 548 manufacturers.

Manufacturers' News reports New Jersey is now home to 10,003 manufacturers employing 433,545 workers.

"As with the entire nation, the recession continues to hit New Jersey's core sectors, while the faltering housing market has affected industries such as wood products and building products," says Tom Dubin, president of the Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912.

The transportation equipment sector experienced the sharpest decline, losing nearly a third of its jobs over the past 24 months, or 32.8 percent, due partially to layoffs at luxury boat makers Viking Yacht, Ocean Yachts and Egg Harbor Yachts.  

MNI reports chemicals manufacturing remains New Jersey's largest industrial sector by employment with 76,554 jobs, down 6.4 percent over two years. Second-ranked printing/publishing accounts for 51,162 jobs, down 7.9 percent over the survey period. Third-ranked electronics represents 40,990 industrial jobs, down 1.7 percent over two years.

Most other sectors in New Jersey lost jobs within the past 24 months and included paper products, down 16 percent; primary metals, down 15 percent; lumber/wood products, down 14.3 percent; stone/clay/glass, down 14 percent; rubber/miscellaneous plastics, down 13.1 percent; textiles/apparel, down 11.3 percent; industrial machinery and equipment, down 7.4 percent; furniture/fixtures, down 4.2 percent; and fabricated metals, down 3.2 percent. Employment gains were seen in food products manufacturing and instruments/related products, each up 1.9 percent.

Despite the losses, some bright spots have emerged in the past 24 months, including the opening of DCI Signs & Awnings in Newark and the expansion of Newark-based Paramount Bakery.

According to the industrial directory, Northeast New Jersey accounts for the largest share of New Jersey's industrial employment with 294,682 manufacturing jobs, or 68 percent of the state, down 5.3 percent over the past 24 months. The Northwest region ranks second at 55,195 manufacturing jobs, down 8.7 percent over two years. Southwest New Jersey is home to 47,433 industrial jobs, down 7.8 percent, while the Southeast is home to 36,235 jobs, down 5.9 percent.

MNI's city data shows Newark remains New Jersey's top city for manufacturing employment, with 12,428 jobs, down 10.5 percent over the past 24 months. Second-ranked Moorestown accounts for 7,717 industrial jobs, down 5 percent over the past two years. Industrial jobs in Clifton declined 2.9 percent, with the city home to 7,117 jobs. Fairfield is home to 6,889 jobs, with no significant change reported over two years, while industrial employment declined 11.7 percent in Edison, with the fifth-ranked city home to 6,579 of New Jersey's industrial jobs.