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Indiana Manufacturing Employment Surges For A Sixth-Straight Year, Driven By Auto Industry


Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, July 10th, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Indiana added manufacturing jobs for a sixth straight year, according to data collected by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI), a publisher of industrial databases and directories for all fifty states. MNI reports Indiana added 9,695 new manufacturing jobs between May 2016 and May 2017, extending the dramatic upswing the state has seen since 2011.

Currently, Indiana’s 9,498 manufacturers employ 585,504 in the state, reports MNI. Job gains in Indiana’s industrial sector have generally been ahead of the nation’s manufacturing employment growth, adding 41,357 workers or 7.6% to its workforce since 2011.

“Although industrial employment has inched up in many states over the past several years, few have added jobs like Indiana. With its low business costs, top-notch infrastructure, and generous incentive programs, the state has allowed automakers to grow and thrive, and boosted employment across multiple sub-sectors.” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, finding skilled workers for today’s advanced manufacturing remains a challenge.”

Indiana’s job gains were led by the transportation equipment industry, which added 5.2% to its workforce in the past year, and stands as the state’s largest sector by employment, employing 104,495. Indiana’s post-recession factory employment gains have been largely driven by the transportation equipment sector, which has added 22,566 jobs since May 2011 -- a 28% gain.

Bright spots for the industry included the opening of auto supplier Faurecia’s new plant in Columbus, and the expansion of Subaru’s facility in Lafayette for the production of its first U.S.-made Impreza. Recent reports suggest the transportation equipment sector should continue to thrive in the years ahead, with a $600 million investment planned by Toyota for its assembly plant in Princeton. In addition, RV manufacturer Forest River plans to expand its LaGrange facility, and auto supplier M & C Tech Indiana Corp.’s announced plans to establish a new factory in Washington.

Additional gains were reported in lumber/wood, up 3.3%; chemicals, up 2.6%; paper products, up 2.6%; and food processing, up 1%.

Industries in Indiana reporting losses included rubber/plastics, down 3.2%; electronics, down 2.1%; and primary metals, down 1.7%.

Manufacturers closing their Indiana locations included Sensient Flavors, which shuttered its plant in Indianapolis; Goshen Coach, which closed its bus manufacturing facility in Elkhart; and Applegate Livestock Equipment, Inc., which closed its Union City factory.

MNI’s regional data shows manufacturing employment in Indiana’s West Central region surged 6.9% to 57,754 jobs over the past year. Industrial employment rose 3% in Northeast Indiana to 165,763 jobs, and climbed 2.4% in Northwest Indiana to 91,103. Factory jobs in Indiana’s East Central region held steady at 143,775, while employment dipped 1.9% in the state’s Southeast region to 59,249. Southwest Indiana also lost jobs, down 3.3% to 67,862.

Indiana’s top five cities by manufacturing employment all added jobs over the year, according to city data collected by MNI. First-ranked Indianapolis saw a 1.2% gain, and now accounts for 73,071. Second-ranked Elkhart accounts for 33,387 jobs, up 7.8% over the past year, while employment inched up 1% in third-ranked Fort Wayne, now home to 25,360 workers. Columbus is home to 16,041 workers, also up 1%, while Lafayette accounts for 15,799 jobs, up 8%.

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation’s oldest and largest compiler of industrial information, offering tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial marketplace IndustryNet: is a one-stop resource that connects buyers with suppliers of 10,000 + products and services, and allows users to obtain competitive quotes, create and view company profiles, post company news releases, photos, videos, job openings, and more. MNI’s subscription service EZ Select: provides access to MNI’s live interactive database of manufacturers. For more information, contact MNI at 847-864-7000 or visit
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