Industrial employment in Mississippi declined nearly one-half percent over the past year according to the 2013 Mississippi Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers’ News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports Mississippi lost 1,048 manufacturing jobs from February 2012 to February 2013 and is now home to 2,839 manufacturing companies employing 169,977 workers.
"Manufacturers in Mississippi have yet to fully recover from the recession, and uncertainty surrounding defense contracts due to looming spending cuts has affected hiring," says Tom Dubin, MNI's president. "However, the state's low business costs and abundant natural resources continue to be a draw for manufacturers."
Several manufacturing companies in Mississippi announced expansions over the year, including Nissan, which plans an expansion of its plant in Canton; Multicraft International, which expanded its auto components factory in Pelahatchie; and Signet Maritime, which plans to expand its shipbuilding operation in Port of Pascagoula.
In addition, sleep products manufacturer Comfort Revolution opened a new plant in Tishomingo County, GE Aviation established its second Mississippi facility in Ellisville, Dennen Steel broke ground on a new plant in Iuka, and Yokohama Tire announced plans to open a plant in West Point.
Manufacturing locations announcing closures included Koppers Holdings’ plant in Grenada and SemiSouth Laboratories in Starkville.
Transportation equipment remains the state’s largest sector by manufacturing employment with 24,345 jobs. Second-ranked food products accounts for 21,751 manufacturing jobs, while industrial machinery and equipment saw employment decline by 3.6 percent to 18,693 jobs.
Industrial sectors that reported losses over the year included textiles/apparel, instruments/related products, paper products, stone/clay/glass and electronics. Gains were seen in fabricated metals, printing/publishing, chemicals and rubber/plastics.
Southeast Mississippi accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 58,347 industrial jobs, while Northeast Mississippi ranks second with 47,591 industrial jobs. The Southwest region of the state is home to 37,099 industrial workers, and the Northwest is credited with 26,940 jobs.
According to the industrial directory, Pascagoula remains the state’s top city for industrial employment with 34 manufacturing companies employing 14,298 workers. Laurel was the second-ranked city and home to 7,388 jobs, while third-ranked Jackson accounts for 6,131 jobs.
For more information, visit www.manufacturersnews.com.