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Wisconsin Manufacturing Gains Momentum, Adding Jobs For A Sixth Straight Year

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

EVANSTON, Ill, October 9th, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Wisconsin added manufacturing jobs for a sixth straight year, according to Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI), a publisher of industrial databases and directories for all fifty states. According to MNI’s database of industrial companies, manufacturers in Wisconsin added 2,495 new jobs between July 2016 and July 2017, a half percent gain.

Wisconsin’s 10,373 manufacturers employ 574,224, reports MNI. Overall, the state has added 22,978 manufacturing jobs over the past six years, amounting to a 4.2% increase in its industrial workforce.

Wisconsin’s skilled workforce combined with a strong focus on innovation have drawn some major enterprises to the state, and the good news keeps coming, with major announcements made over the year by Foxconn and Haribo,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, global competition and a strong dollar continue to challenge growth.”

According to MNI, employment gains were spread across multiple sectors, with the electronics industry leading the way, up 4% over the year. The state’s electronics sector should continue to add jobs in the coming years as iPhone maker Foxconn makes progress on the massive $10 billion factory it plans to establish outside of Kenosha. The new plant will potentially create 13,000 jobs for the area.

In addition, German candy maker Haribo announced plans to open a gummy bear factory in Kenosha, which is its purported to be one of the largest foreign investments in the state. Signature Wafers LLC took over the old “Rippin’ Good Cookies” space, resuming cookie production in the town of Ripon after a year’s lapse, and Pratt Industries opened a new cardboard box factory in Beloit.

Other industries adding jobs included fabricated metals, up 3%; transportation equipment, up 2%; and medical instruments/related products, also up 2%. Stone/clay/glass, paper products, rubber/plastics and lumber/wood all added 1% to their workforce, according to MNI’s industry data.

These gains were offset, however, by losses in the primary metals sector, down 4.6% after Metaldyne closed its Brillion Iron Works facility. Printing/publishing also declined, down 2.2%; as did furniture/fixtures, down 1.4%.

Wisconsin’s top sectors by manufacturing employment remain industrial machinery and food processing, together accounting for 30% of the state’s industrial workforce. These two industries saw little change in employment over the year.

MNI’s geographical data indicates Wisconsin’s industrial employment gains were spread out across the state’s five regions. Employment jumped 6.4% in the East Central region to 135,539 jobs, and rose 2.2% in Southwest Wisconsin to 45,958 jobs. Northern Wisconsin added a half percent to 36,332 jobs, while Southeast Wisconsin gained 571 jobs and now accounts for 309,423 jobs.

Wisconsin’s West Central region was the only to lose jobs, down a third of a percent to 46,972.

City data collected by MNI shows Milwaukee ranks first in the state for number of manufacturing jobs, with 46,262 workers. Employment inched down a half percent over the year, due partially to the relocation of Pieper Electronics’ operations to New Berlin.

Green Bay’s industrial workforce held steady at 22,519 jobs, but plummeted 10% in Madison after the closure of the Oscar Mayer hot dog plant. Madison still ranks third in the state for number of industrial jobs, however, home to 15,254 workers. Manufacturing employment in fourth-ranked Appleton rose 3.8% to 13,559 jobs, reports MNI.

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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