Wisconsin manufacturers added jobs for a fifth straight year, according to the 2017 Wisconsin Manufacturers Register, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News Inc. (MNI).
MNI reports Wisconsin added 3,167 new jobs between July 2015 and July 2016, and is now home to 10,694 manufacturers employing 572,981 workers.
"Wisconsin's stronghold in the food-processing sector combined with a skilled labor pool and growing focus on technology and innovation have all contributed to the state's success," says Tom Dubin, MNI president. "However, like many otherwise thriving states, gains have slowed over the past year as global competition and a strong dollar continue to challenge growth."
Wisconsin's food-processing industry led the employment gains, adding more than 2,000 jobs. Food processing ranked as the state's second largest sector by employment with 72,049 jobs. Industrial machinery was first in the state for manufacturing jobs, employing 102,750 workers. Other manufacturing sectors gaining jobs included furniture/fixtures, rubber/plastics and printing/publishing. Chemicals and paper products were among the industries that lost jobs.
Several major Wisconsin plant openings were announced over the year, including Hobart Welding Products, which closed its plant in Troy, Ohio, and moved production to Appleton; Beverage International, which plans to establish a bottling plant in Two Rivers; and the Little Potato Co., which announced it will open a new processing facility in DeForest. In addition, Johnsonville Sausage recently completed work on a new $36 million production facility in Watertown.
Wisconsin industrial sites announcing closures included Graphic Packaging International in Menasha, a Tyson Foods facility in Jefferson and Grede Holdings' foundry in Berlin.
Milwaukee ranked first in the state for the number of manufacturing jobs with 46,543 workers. Second-ranked Green Bay accounted for 22,503 jobs, while third-ranked Madison is home to 16,833 workers.
For more information, visit www.mni.net.