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Manufacturing Jobs Increase In Illinois, Chicago

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
1633 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241

EVANSTON, Ill, February 17th, 2015/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Manufacturing employment in Illinois inched up over the past year, reports the 2015 Illinois Manufacturers Directory®, a manufacturers database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI). According to data collected by MNI, Illinois manufacturers added 2,397 jobs or a half percent, from November 2013 to November 2014, lagging behind the 1.4% national average gain as reported by the Labor Department for the same time period.

Manufacturers’ News reports Illinois is now home to 18,071 manufacturers employing 810,503 workers.

“Faced with stiff competition from neighboring states and high business costs, Illinois’ industrial sector has struggled to come back from the recession,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, with Chicago fast becoming a hub for high-tech manufacturing and start-up enterprises, as well as the state’s solid infrastructure and educated workforce, Illinois manufacturing may be at a turning point.”

MNI data indicates that although Illinois still continues to lose jobs to its neighbors, the rate at which its manufacturers are migrating to other states seems to be slowing. This year’s survey shows a loss of 471 jobs to other states, half the average yearly loss of 1,060 jobs MNI recorded from 2009-2014.

The database publisher recorded its first employment gain for Chicago in over a decade, with jobs up 1.5%, following a loss of nearly 25% over the past ten years. MNI reports Chicago currently accounts for 107,311 industrial jobs, ranking it third in the nation for factory employment.

Manufacturing companies investing in Chicago included cleaning products maker Method, which broke ground on an advanced LEED certified production plant in the city’s Pullman neighborhood, and Ford, which continues to ramp up production at its assembly plant in Hegewisch. Revolution Brewing expanded production at its Avondale facility, Lagunitas Brewing opened a facility in the city’s Douglas Park neighborhood, and employees of previously-shuttered Republic Windows & Doors reopened the Southwest-side plant under the name New Era Windows.

Industries adding jobs in Illinois included the transportation equipment sector, which posted a 6.1% gain, electronics, which rose 5.3%; lumber/wood, up 3%; furniture/fixtures, up 1.6% and fabricated metals, up 1.2%.

Sectors reporting losses included rubber/plastics, down 5.2%, due partially to the shuttering of Berry Plastics’ Alsip plant, and printing/publishing, down 3.1%, following the closure of a Quad/Graphics printing plant in Woodstock. Employment in food products fell 2.5%, and declined 1.9% in the stone/clay/glass subsector.

According to Manufacturers’ News, manufacturing jobs in Northeast Illinois rose a half percent over the year. Cook County represents 53% of the Northeast region’s 566,904 jobs, and the collar counties represent another 41%. Jobs were virtually unchanged in Cook County, but rose a half percent in the collar counties.

Manufacturing employment in Elk Grove Village declined 1.7% over the year, reports MNI, with the second-ranked city home to 19,667 jobs. Job losses eased in Rockford, down a third of a percent over the year, with the third-ranked city accounting for 18,897 jobs.

Jobs were up slightly downstate, with industrial employment in Southeast Illinois up 2.3% and up 2.1% in Southwest Illinois.

Employment was little changed in Central Illinois, and declined 1.1% in Northwest Illinois

Detailed profiles of all Illinois manufacturers can be found in the 2015 Illinois Manufacturers Directory® available in print or online. Established in 1912, Manufacturers' News, Inc. is the nation’s oldest and largest publisher of industrial information. MNI offers a variety of tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers, from print directories to online subscriptions. MNI’s industrial database subscription service EZ Select: allows users to tap into a live interactive database of manufacturers, while its industrial search engine IndustryNet connects buyers and suppliers and allows users to view profiles and obtain competitive quotes. MNI’s traditional print directories are published for each state and include in-depth profiles of every manufacturer in the U.S. For more information, contact Manufacturers' News, Inc. 847-864-7000.
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