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Massachusetts Industrial Employment Levels Stagnate As Boston Adds Jobs

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

EVANSTON, Ill, October 26th, 2016/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Manufacturing employment levels in Massachusetts inched down for a second straight year, despite a 1.8% increase in jobs for Boston, reports the 2017 Massachusetts Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to data collected by MNI, Massachusetts’ industrial employment declined by 323 jobs between August 2015 and August 2016, virtually unchanged over the year.

Massachusetts’ 7,756 manufacturers employ 374,107 in the state, reports MNI.

“Manufacturers in Massachusetts continue to struggle with high business costs and global competition, particularly in historically strong sectors like industrial machinery and electronics,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, with a workforce unparalleled in other cities and its abundance of capital funding, Boston has firmly established itself as an innovation and biotech hub, drawing a number of high-tech enterprises to the region.”

High-tech manufacturers breaking ground in Massachusetts included Ginko Bioworks, which established the world’s largest biologics foundry in Boston; Bristol-Myers Squibb, which expanded its biologics plant in Devens; U.K. based Applied Photophysics, which opened its first U.S. plant in Beverly; and G.E. Healthcare, which plans to hire 500 workers at its newly-opened pharmaceutical facility in Marlborough.

MNI data shows a 4.8% increase in jobs for Suffolk County, with a 1.8% gain recorded for Boston. Boston ranks first in the state for industrial employment, with 13,834 jobs.

Jobs rose 2.7% in second-ranked Wilmington to 12,961 and increased 1.4% in Andover to 11,643 workers.

According to MNI, manufacturing job losses in Massachusetts were led by the industrial machinery and equipment sector, which declined by 1.3%. Industrial machinery employs the most factory workers in the state, currently accounting for 54,216. Second-ranked medical instruments/related products accounts for 48,925 jobs, with no significant change reported, while third-ranked electronics accounts for 44,896 jobs, virtually unchanged over the year.

Industrial locations announcing closures included Sunny Delight, which closed its juice plant in Littleton; General Electric, which shuttered a valve factory in Avon; and industrial equipment manufacturer Rodney Hunt, which closed its factory in Orange.

Additional Massachusetts industries shedding jobs included transportation equipment, down 7.5%; lumber/wood, down 2.5%; furniture/fixtures, also down 2.5%; printing/publishing, down 2.4%; and paper products, down 2%. These losses were offset, however, by gains in stone/clay/glass, up 11%; chemicals, up 4.4%; food products, up 3.3%; and rubber/plastics, up 2.2%.

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 178,012 jobs. This was offset by a 3.2% gain in Southeastern Massachusetts, which now accounts for 48,430 workers. Northeast Massachusetts was unchanged at 106,255 jobs, as was Western Massachusetts, which stands at 41,410 workers.

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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