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North Carolina Adds Manufacturing Jobs For A Seventh Straight Year

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

EVANSTON, Ill, April 14th, 2018/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- For a seventh straight year, North Carolina added manufacturing jobs, according to information collected by MNI (Manufacturers' News, Inc.), a publisher of industrial data for all fifty states. According to MNI’s database, North Carolina gained 9,058 manufacturing jobs in 2017, an increase of 1.6%.

MNI data shows North Carolina added 29,204 manufacturing jobs over the past seven years, amounting to a 5.4% gain, recovering about 30% of jobs lost during the recession. Currently, North Carolina’s 9,702 manufacturers employ 573,006 in the state.

“With its skilled labor pool and top-notch incentive programs, as well as its low business costs and abundance of shovel-ready sites, North Carolina has wide-ranging appeal for manufacturers,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, trade uncertainty could affect some of the state’s manufacturers in the years ahead, especially those reliant on imported steel and aluminum.”

Manufacturing job gains in North Carolina were led by the transportation equipment industry, which added about 6% to its workforce, and ranks as the state’s fourth-largest sector by number of industrial jobs, employing 43,975.

Industrial machinery, which ranks first in the state for number of manufacturing jobs, rose 1.3% to 63,176 workers, while second-ranked food processing rose a half percent to 61,446.

Third-ranked textiles/apparel saw another year of losses, down 1.6% to 54,046 jobs, reports MNI, due partially to the closures of DuraFiber Technologies’ textile facilities in Grover and Hickory, as well as the closure of Cone Denim’s 110-year-old plant in Greensboro. However, losses in the sector were offset by Fiber Innovators International’s acquisition of DuraFiber’s shuttered Grover plant.

Additional gains were recorded in the instruments/related products sector, up 3%; in furniture/fixtures, which rose 2.2%; paper products, which climbed 2%; and fabricated metals, which was up 1%.

Aside from textiles/apparel, employment losses were minimal, and were recorded in printing/publishing, down 1.6%; and rubber/plastics, down a third of a percent, according to MNI data.

Several companies announced new operations in North Carolina, including Chinese tire manufacturer Triangle Tyre Company, which unveiled plans to establish a major tire plant near Rocky Mount. Other new additions to the state included MKT Metal Mfg in Wilson; EGGER Wood Products in Triad; Carrol Poultry in Bladenboro; and Quality Enclosures in Ablemarle.

Manufacturing jobs gains were seen across all regions of North Carolina, with growth strongest in the Southwest of the state, which rose 2.4% to 112,453 jobs. The state’s Northwest region added 1.5% to its manufacturing workforce, and now accounts for 250,339 jobs. Employment was up 1.5% in the Southeast quadrant to 61,397 jobs, and rose 1.4% in the Northeast region to 148,797.

City data collected by MNI shows manufacturing employment surged in Charlotte, with jobs up 4.3%. Charlotte remains the state’s top city by number of industrial employment, accounting for 45,292 jobs. Employment in second-ranked Greensboro fell 3.3% to 27,603, and was little changed in Research Triangle Park at 15,259 jobs. Factory employment rose 2.6% in fourth-ranked Winston-Salem to 14,688 jobs, and held steady in fifth-ranked Raleigh at 14,039.

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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