- Buyer's Guide
Industrial employment in Texas fell 2.8 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2010 Texas Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports Texas lost 34,115 industrial jobs between April 2009 and April 2010, a small loss compared to many states across the nation.
According to earlier reports by MNI, other top manufacturing states saw larger decreases, with California's industrial employment down 5 percent and Illinois' down 5.7 percent. Neighboring state Oklahoma saw a loss of 4.5 percent over 12 months, while New Mexico's industrial employment declined 5.2 percent.
Manufacturers' News reports Texas is now home to 22,929 manufacturers employing 1,184,471 workers.
"Texas has seen some employment losses due to automation and technology, outsourcing and the recession," said Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers' News. "But the state maintains a winning combination of reasonable labor and construction costs, a central location within North America to transport products and a generally favorable business climate."
Industrial machinery and equipment remains Texas' largest manufacturing sector by employment with 161,951 of the state's jobs, down 5 percent over the year, following layoffs at Schlumberger, Applied Materials and Lubbock's Tyco Fire Protection Systems plant, among others. Fabricated metal ranks second with 119,076 industrial jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Third-ranked food products manufacturing accounts for 111,185 industrial jobs, down 1.8 percent over the 12-month period.
MNI reports other sectors that lost jobs over the past 12 months included lumber/wood, down 7.9 percent; chemicals, down 6.5 percent; rubber/plastics, down 4.7 percent; textiles/apparel, down 4.3 percent; stone/clay/glass, down 4.2 percent; primary metals, down 3.5 percent; and paper products, down 3.1 percent, due partially to layoffs at MeadWestvaco's paper mill. Electronics and transportation equipment were each down 2 percent following layoffs at Avnet, BAE Systems, STMicroelectronics and Gulfstream Aerospace, among others.
Bright spots for the state include the planned expansion of Baker Hughes, which plans to move 130 manufacturing positions from overseas back to Texas, the recent opening of a Drillmec Inc. drill manufacturing facility in North Houston and the planned opening of a Zarges Aluminum Systems plant in Amarillo, which will produce components for wind towers. In addition, Texas maintained the top spot nationally for exports for the eighth straight year, according to government data.
MNI reports industrial jobs declined the most in Northeast Texas, down 3.5 percent over the year, with the region currently accounting for 433,059 jobs. Industrial jobs declined 3 percent in Southeast Texas, with the region home to 464,466 workers, while Southwest Texas saw a drop of 2.4 percent, currently home to 91,763. East Central Texas saw a decline of 2 percent and is currently home to 98,341 industrial jobs, while jobs were down 1.8 percent in Northwest Texas, with the region home to 48,957 of the state's manufacturing jobs. West Central Texas was the only region to gain jobs, up 2.5 percent over the past 12 months.
Houston remains the state's and the nation's top city by industrial employment with 227,580 manufacturing jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Dallas saw employment decrease 10.1 percent and is currently home to 80,731 industrial workers. Fort Worth accounts for 66,658 industrial jobs, with no significant change reported, while San Antonio accounts for 51,836, down 2.5 percent over the year. Fifth-ranked Austin saw jobs drop 2 percent and currently accounts for 41,554 industrial jobs.