Industrial employment in Vermont declined 1.4 percent over the past year, according to the 2013 Vermont Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Vermont saw a loss of 634 manufacturing jobs between December 2012 and December 2013, and is now home to 1,415 manufacturing companies employing 42,921 workers.

"Manufacturers in Vermont have yet to fully recover from the recession, and the state's large debt burden combined with uncertainty over the fiscal cliff and sequester has put a damper on hiring," says Tom Dubin, MNI president. "However, the state's educated workforce and abundant natural resources continue to be a draw for new business."

According to the industrial guide, electronics manufacturing is Vermont's largest sector by manufacturing employment with 7,052 jobs, down 8 percent over the year. Second-ranked food products account for 5,218 manufacturing jobs, which was up 1.4 percent over the 12-month period. Industrial machinery and equipment saw a 1-percent increase in employment, and ranks third at 3,738 jobs.

Industrial sectors reporting losses over the year included textiles/apparel, furniture/fixtures, paper products and instruments/related products. Gains were reported in primary metals, lumber/wood, fabricated metals and transportation equipment.

Manufacturing companies that announced openings in Vermont included Germany-based Menck Window Systems, which plans to establish a window and door factory in Newport. In addition, several manufacturers operating in Vermont announced expansions over the year including SemiProbe in Winooski, Weidman Electrical Technology in St. Johnsbury, and Green Mountain Coffee, which plans to expand all three of its locations.

According to the industrial directory, Essex Junction remains the state’s top city for industrial employment with 31 manufacturing companies employing 6,007 workers. Second-ranked Burlington accounts for 2,781 jobs. Industrial employment in Brattleboro increased 5.4 percent, with the third-ranked city now home to 1,727 jobs. Saint Albans saw a 2.3-percent decrease in manufacturing employment and is home to 1,484 jobs, while fifth-ranked Rutland accounts for 1,424 jobs.

For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.