Industrial employment in Maryland/District of Columbia fell 3.3 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2011 Maryland/D.C. Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports Maryland lost 6,502 industrial jobs and 258 manufacturers between May 2009 and May 2010.

Manufacturers' News reports Maryland and the D.C. Metro Area is now home to 4,956 manufacturers employing 188,089 workers.

"The recession continues to affect Maryland's manufacturing sectors, particularly its sizable printing and publishing industry and sectors reliant on the housing market. However Maryland's continued investment in high-tech manufacturing have helped stem the losses a bit, as companies are drawn to the region due to its educated workforce," says Tom Dubin, president of the Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912.

Bright spots over the year include the planned expansion of laboratory supplier Life Technologies Corp. in Frederick; the expected expansion of a General Motors transmission plant in White Marsh, which will create 200 jobs; the future opening of Emergent Solutions' bioprocessing center in East Baltimore; and the planned expansion of GE Aviation's Middle River facility.

According to the directory, printing and publishing remains the region's largest industrial sector, accounting for 35,555 of the region's industrial jobs, down 10.7 percent over the past 12 months. Printing companies closing down include a Vertis Communications facility in Belcamp, a Cenveo Inc printing facility in Baltimore, and The Washington Post's printing facility in College Park. Electronics manufacturing accounts for another 22,964 industrial jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Third-ranked industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing employs 18,560 workers, down 3.1 percent over the past 12 months.

Losses were reported across most sectors and included lumber/wood, down 8.7 percent; furniture/fixtures, down 7.6 percent; paper products, down 6.6 percent; stone/clay/glass, down 6.4 percent; rubber/plastics, down 4.1 percent; transportation equipment, down 4 percent; and textiles/apparel, down 1.3 percent. Gains were seen in chemicals, up 2.1 percent; food products, up 1.7 percent; instruments and related products, up 1.5 percent; and primary metals, up 1.1 percent.

Manufacturers' News reports Central Maryland, which includes the District of Columbia, accounts for the most industrial employment in the region, with 150,183 jobs, or 80 percent, down 2.9 percent over the past 12 months. Western Maryland represents 19,728 of the state's jobs, down 8.3 percent, while employment in Eastern Maryland declined 1.1 percent and is currently home to 18,178 of the state's workers.

MNI's city data shows Baltimore remains the region's top city for manufacturing employment with 35,739 industrial workers, down 5 percent over the past 12 months. Washington, D.C., accounts for 16,187 jobs, down 7.8 percent over the past year. Linthicum ranks third in the region with 7,731 industrial workers, with no significant change reported over the year. Columbia saw industrial employment increase 3.8 percent over the year and now ranks fourth in the state with 6,095 industrial jobs. Fifth-ranked Hagerstown accounts for 5,481 jobs, down 11.7 percent.