Industrial employment in Rhode Island declined 2.2 percent during the past year, according to the 2013 Rhode Island Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Rhode Island saw a loss of 1,325 manufacturing jobs between December 2011 and December 2012, and is now home to 1,792 manufacturing companies employing 58,197 workers.
"Manufacturers in Rhode Island have yet to fully recover from the recession, and high taxes combined with uncertainty over the state's massive debt burden have put a damper on hiring," says Tom Dubin, president of MNI. "However, the state's educated workforce and access to capital continue to be a draw for new business."
According to Manufacturers' News, industrial machinery and equipment accounts for the most manufacturing employment in the state with 6,066 jobs. Second-ranked fabricated metal products accounts for 5,973 manufacturing jobs, which was down 4.8 percent after the closure of Stanley Bostitch in East Greenwich, among others. Employment in instruments/related products remained steady over the year with the third-ranked sector accounting for 4,424 industrial jobs.
Industrial sectors reporting losses during the year included lumber/wood, jewelry manufacturing, paper products, printing/publishing, furniture/fixtures and primary metals. Employment remained steady in chemicals, electronics, stone/clay/glass and transportation equipment, while textiles/apparel posted a 9.1-percent increase.
Bright spots for the state included the expansion of Italian cured meats maker Daniele Foods, which invested in a new facility in Burrillville and doubled production. In addition, Biomedical Structures expanded its biomedical textiles factory in Warwick, and Alexion Pharmaceuticals continues to expand its plant in Smithfield.
According to the industrial directory, Providence remains the state's top city for industrial employment, with 263 manufacturing companies employing 8,405 workers. Second-ranked Pawtucket accounts for 6,885 jobs. Industrial employment in Cranston remained steady over the year, with the third-ranked city now home to 5,036 jobs. North Kingstown saw a 1-percent decrease in manufacturing employment and is home to 4,965 jobs, while fifth-ranked Warwick accounts for 4,755 jobs.
For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.