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Massachusetts' Industrial Employment Declines For A Third Straight Year

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

EVANSTON, Ill, October 31st, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Manufacturing employment levels in Massachusetts declined for a third straight year, reports MNI (Manufacturers' News, Inc.) Evanston, IL, compiler and publisher of industrial data for all fifty states. According to data collected by MNI, Massachusetts shed 2,182 industrial jobs between August 2016 and August 2017, a half-percent loss.

Massachusetts’ 7,561 manufacturers employ 366,560 in the state, reports MNI. This is compared to a high of 10,128 companies and 408,607 jobs reported a decade ago.

“Like many states in the New England region, Massachusetts is struggling with global competition and high business costs,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, the Boston area continues to thrive, driven by a highly educated workforce and a focus on innovation. The city has fostered a number of new high-tech enterprises, offsetting the severe losses many of its traditional industries have suffered.”

Losses were spread across multiple sectors, reports MNI, but were led by the industrial machinery sector, which shed 4.2% of its workforce. Industrial machinery remains the state’s top sector by number of manufacturing jobs, employing 51,915.

Other industries reporting losses included stone/clay/glass, down 9.2%; rubber/plastics, down 5.4%; textiles/apparel, down 4.6%; transportation equipment, down 4.4%; printing/publishing, down 3.1%; and paper products, down 2.9%.

Over the year Massachusetts was hit with layoffs at Textron; Raytheon; Kronos; Ariad Pharmaceuticals, and others. In addition, Whole Foods closed its processing facility in Everett; Menck USA closed it window factory in Chicopee; and Panasonic shuttered its solar wafer plant in Salem.

Some industries in Massachusetts posted notable gains, according to MNI, including a 1.8% employment increase for medical instruments/related products. Jobs were up 1.7% in both the chemical and fabricated metals industries, and rose 1% in food processing.

MNI’s regional data shows industrial job losses in Massachusetts were concentrated in the state’s Central region, which declined by 1% over the year to 172,038 jobs. Western Massachusetts also posted a loss, down 1.5% to 39,483 workers, as did the state’s Southeast region, which declined a half percent to 48,190 jobs.

This was offset by a half percent gain in Northeast Massachusetts, helped by a significant gain in Boston jobs. The Northeast region now accounts for 106,849 workers.

Boston posted a 7% gain in industrial employment over the year, and remains Massachusetts’ top city by number of manufacturing jobs, home to 14,807 workers.

Bright spots for the state included roofing maker Duro-Last’s plans to establish a custom fabrication plant in Ludlow; and the establishment of medical device maker Avedros’s facility in Burlington. Boston saw the opening of Bully Boy Distilleries and Whitson’s new culinary production center, while pharma company Moderna opened a clinical manufacturing facility in Norwood, a suburb of Boston.

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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