Following several years of losses, industrial employment in Pennsylvania increased by 1/2 percent during the past 12 months according to the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Pennsylvania gained 3,776 industrial jobs between June 2011 and June 2012, and is now home to 17,363 manufacturers employing 807,726 workers.

"Pennsylvania continues to see its manufacturing sector improve," says Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers' News Inc. "The state's educated workforce, access to capital and investments in innovative technologies have been a draw for a variety of enterprises."

Bright spots for the state included Ocean Spray's announcement that it will open a new juice bottling facility in Allentown, the recent establishment of Pratt Industries' corrugated box plant in Macungie, the expansion of Alcoa's operations at its plant in Upper Burrell Township and the opening of Glasswerks Inc.'s new glass plant in Easton.

In addition, pharmaceutical maker Daiichi Sankyo recently established a packaging plant in Bethlehem, Rehrig Pacific Logistics plans to open a fiberboard plant in Glendon Borough, GE Transportation announced the opening of a new diesel engine remanufacturing plant in Grove City and PrintHarmony.com opened a printing plant in Easton.

MNI reports industrial machinery and equipment remains Pennsylvania's largest industrial sector by employment, accounting for 93,473 manufacturing jobs, which is up 1 percent over the past year. Food products manufacturing ranks second with 86,691 jobs, up 2 percent over the past 12 months. Third-ranked fabricated metals accounts for 84,393 jobs, with no significant change reported.

Industrial sectors that gained jobs over the year included chemicals, up 3.6 percent; petroleum products, up 1.9 percent; transportation equipment, up 1.8 percent; rubber/plastics, up 1.7 percent; and primary metals up 1.4 percent. Losses were seen in printing/publishing, down 4.3 percent; lumber/wood, down 3 percent; paper products, down 1.7 percent; and textiles/apparel, down 1.1 percent.

Industrial locations announcing closures included Baldwin Hardware in Reading, RR Donnelley's book printing facility in Bloomsburg and Aquatic Co.'s bath fixtures plant in Elizabethtown.

Southeast Pennsylvania has the largest share of the state's industrial employment with 341,996 jobs, up 1/3 percent over the year. Southwest Pennsylvania accounts for 184,419 jobs, up 1.7 percent, while central Pennsylvania is home to 118,639 industrial workers, down 1/2 percent. Northwest Pennsylvania accounts for 106,368 of the state's industrial jobs, up 1/2 percent, while northeast Pennsylvania is home to 56,304 jobs, down 1/2 percent over the past 12 months.

MNI's city data shows Philadelphia is home to 44,453 jobs and remains the state's top city for manufacturing employment. Second-ranked Pittsburgh accounts for 36,812 jobs, while York is home to 22,339 industrial jobs.

For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.