Report: Manufacturing declined in 2010

Industrial employment in the United States fell 3.3% and the number of U.S. manufacturers dropped 4.1% in 2010, according to Manufacturers’ News Inc., a publisher of industrial directories in all 50 states that is based in Evanston, Ill.

According to the publisher’s most recent editions, there were 357,862 manufacturers employing roughly 16.3 million people in the United States in 2010, compared to the 370,230 manufacturers and nearly 17 million workers recorded in previous editions of its directories.

“Technology has driven down manufacturing employment,” said Tom Dubin, Manufacturers’ News president. “Even as demand and production return to prerecession levels, fewer employees are needed in the manufacturing process because of automation and robotics. Highly skilled workers trained in today’s technology will continue to be in great demand, but the days of well–paid, low–skilled assembly line workers are gone forever.”

According to the publisher, Michigan topped the list of states that lost the most industrial employment last year, with a decline of 79,101 jobs. California was a close second, losing 78,723 jobs. North Carolina’s industrial jobs fell by 51,831, Indiana’s by 39,451 and Florida’s by 38,278.

States that lost the least number of jobs included Alaska (–31), Hawaii (–754), North Dakota (–1,028), Wyoming (–1,028) and West Virginia (–1,403).