Rhode Island Manufacturing Jobs Remained Steady Over Year According to Industrial Directory
Industrial employment in Rhode Island was little changed over the past year according to the 2012 Rhode Island Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Rhode Island lost 506 manufacturing jobs or less than one percent from December 2010 to December 2011, much smaller than the 2.6% decline MNI reported the state lost over the 2009-2010 survey period.
Manufacturers' News reports Rhode Island is now home to 1,852 manufacturers employing 60,312 workers. "The recovery is gaining momentum in Rhode Island and across the U.S.," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "The state's educated workforce, access to capital, and investments in innovative technologies will hopefully translate to increased employment in the future."
Bright spots for the state included the recently-announced opening of submarine-maker Electric Boat's new facility in Quonset, bringing an expected 500 jobs to the state in the next two years, and the expansion of Alexion Pharmaceuticals' facility in Smithfield. MNI reports fabricated metals manufacturing accounts for the most industrial jobs in the state with 6,275 jobs, up 1.8% over the year.
Industrial machinery and equipment ranks second with 6,100 jobs, with no significant change reported, while third-ranked printing/publishing accounts for 4,623 jobs, down 2.4% over the twelve-month survey period.
Industrial sectors that lost jobs over the year included instruments/related products, down 9.3% following layoffs at Raytheon's Portsmouth facility, and the closure of a Thermo Fisher Scientific plant in East Providence, among others. Lumber/wood declined 4.4%, furniture/fixtures decreased 3.6%, and stone/clay/glass fell 1.6%. Employment remained steady in the food products; textiles/apparel; primary metals; and transportation equipment sectors, while gains were seen in paper products, up 6.3%; chemicals, up 2.7%; and electronics, up a half percent.
MNI's city data shows Providence remains the state's top city for manufacturing employment, with 8,826 industrial jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Second-ranked Pawtucket accounts for 7,158 industrial jobs, down a half percent. Industrial jobs in Cranston declined 1.2%, with the city home to 5,037 jobs, while employment in North Kingstown increased 2.3% to 5,018 jobs. Industrial employment in Warwick increased 2.6%, with the fifth-ranked city home to 4,626 jobs.