Industrial employment in Connecticut fell 3.5 percent over the past 12 months according to the 2011 Connecticut Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. MNI reports Connecticut lost 7,808 industrial jobs and 198 manufacturers between May 2009 and May 2010, a smaller loss compared to the 11,000 manufacturing jobs MNI reported lost over the 2008-2009 survey period.

Manufacturers' News reports Connecticut is now home to 5,622 manufacturers employing 214,165 workers.

"The recession continues to affect Connecticut's manufacturing industries, particularly its transportation equipment sector and industries reliant on the housing market. However the state's continued investment in high-tech manufacturing and an educated workforce have helped stem the losses a bit," says Tom Dubin, president of the Evanston, Ill.-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912.

Transportation equipment remains Connecticut's largest industrial sector by employment, accounting for 38,296 of the state's jobs, down 3.4 percent over the year, following layoffs at Pratt & Whitney, among others. Fabricated metals ranks second with 27,694 industrial jobs, down 6.4 percent. Industrial machinery and equipment ranks as the state's third-largest manufacturing sector with 27,248 of the state's industrial jobs, down 3.3 percent over the past 12 months.

MNI reports other industrial sectors that lost jobs over the past year included paper products, down 11.3 percent; printing/publishing, down 16.1 percent; rubber/plastics, down 7.4 percent; textiles/apparel, down 7.3 percent; and chemicals, down 6.1 percent, following the closure of a Clairol facility in Stamford.

Bright spots for the state include the planned expansion of a Frito-Lay plant in Killingly, the planned expansion of chemical manufacturer LiQuifix Inc. in Stamford, and the expansion of Winsted-based H-O Corporation.

Stratford remains the state's top city by industrial employment, accounting for 10,826 manufacturing jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Groton accounts for 7,838 industrial jobs, with industrial employment virtually unchanged from a year ago. Third-ranked Bristol is home to 7,347, down 3.8 percent, while Danbury accounts for 7,294 industrial jobs, down 4.7 percent over the year. Fifth-ranked Norwalk accounts for 6,074 industrial jobs, down 7.8 percent over the past 12 months.