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Mississippi Loses Manufacturing Jobs For The First Time In Four Years

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

EVANSTON, Ill, May 24th, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Manufacturing employment in Mississippi declined for the first time in several years, according to data collected by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI), a publisher of industrial databases and directories for all fifty states. MNI reports manufacturers in Mississippi shed 1,046 jobs from March 2016 to March 2017, amounting to a 1.3% loss.

This is the first year the state has lost industrial jobs since the 2012-2013 survey period, according to MNI data. Mississippi’s industrial employment growth accelerated over a three-year period between March of 2013 and March 2016, recovering 27% of the jobs lost during the recession. Currently, Mississippi’s 2,711 manufacturers employ 163,663 in the state.

Mississippi boasts some of the lowest business costs in the nation, and this has drawn numerous manufacturers to the state, particularly transportation equipment manufacturers seeking to escape higher tax and labor cost burdens,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, the state is falling behind in some key factors, namely innovation and workforce skills, which are so crucial to today’s manufacturing.”

MNI reports the transportation equipment industry remains Mississippi’s top sector by number of jobs, employing 25,039, or about 15% of the state’s industrial workforce. Jobs in the industry declined for the first time in six years, dropping 2.2% over the year.

Second-ranked food processing accounts for 22,866 workers, with virtually no change reported over the year, while employment declined 3.1% in third-ranked industrial machinery, which employs 18,546 workers.

Significant job losses were recorded across multiple sectors and included electronics, down 10%; chemicals, down 7.3%; primary metals, down 3.9%; textiles/apparel, down 2.6%; and printing/publishing, down 2.3%.

Industrial locations announcing closures in Mississippi included Avery Products Corp, which shuttered its Meridian plant and shifted operations to Mexico. Babcock & Wilson, which makes industrial boilers, closed its West Point facility, and Schlumberger’s Cameron facility in Vicksburg, which manufactured equipment for the oil and gas industry, also closed, affecting more than 200 workers.

These losses were offset, however, by gains in the rubber/plastics sector, which rose 8.4%; and the stone/clay/glass industry, which climbed 8.3% over the year.

In addition, several new plant announcements were made recently, including the establishment of Niagara Bottling’s facility in Byhalia; the opening of Steel Dynamics in Columbus; and the opening of ABB’s new advanced manufacturing facility in Senatobia. New projects on the horizon include Pearl River Foods’ planned poultry processing factory in Carthage.

MNI reports Mississippi’s manufacturing job losses were concentrated entirely in the south of the state. Southeast Mississippi posted the largest loss, down 2.6% to 53,827 jobs, followed by Mississippi’s Southwest region, which declined 2% to 35,849 jobs. Northern Mississippi made up for these losses, with jobs up 1.8% in the Northwest region to 27,037 workers, and up 1% in the Northeast to 46,950.

City data collected by MNI shows Pascagoula remains the state’s top city by industrial employment, with 14,636 jobs, virtually unchanged over the year. Employment in second-ranked Laurel fell 1.1% to 7,826 industrial jobs, while employment in third-ranked Ellisville fell a half percent to 4,958 jobs. Manufacturing jobs in Tupelo rose 8% to 4,722, but declined 4.1% in fifth-ranked Jackson to 4,598.

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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