Arkansas Industrial Jobs Declined 9% Over the Past Two Years

Oct 18, 2010, 10:15 ET from Manufacturers' News, Inc.

EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Industrial employment in Arkansas fell 9% over the past two years, according to the 2011 Arkansas Manufacturers Register, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Arkansas lost 20,309 manufacturing jobs over the past two years.

Manufacturers' News reports Arkansas is now home to 3,779 manufacturers employing 205,313 workers.

"Decreased demand continues to affect Arkansas' manufacturing industries, particularly the transportation sector and industries related to the housing market," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912.

Employment in the transportation equipment sector saw one of the sharpest declines, down 18.6% over the past twenty-four months, following the closures of school-bus maker IC Corp and limousine manufacturer Federal Coach, among others.

Bright spots for the state include the opening of several new facilities including a Caterpillar factory in North Little Rock; nanomanufacturing plant Duralor LLC in Springdale; Nordex's planned wind turbine facility in Jonesboro; and a NextGen BioMass plant in El Dorado.

Arkansas' top manufacturing sector remains food products with nearly a quarter of the state's industrial employment, or 52,366 jobs, down 3.5% over the past 24 months, due partially to layoffs at the Butterball plant in Huntsville. Industrial machinery and equipment has overtaken fabricated metal manufacturing as the state's second-largest industrial sector with 17,030 jobs, down 7.6%. Third-ranked fabricated metals now employs 16,293 workers, down 15.5% over the past two years.

All other sectors in Arkansas lost jobs within the past two years and included electronics, down 15.7%, lumber/wood down 15.3%; furniture/fixtures down 14.5%; chemicals down 13.6%; printing/publishing down 9.3%; stone/clay/glass down 9.3%; primary metals down 7.8%; rubber/plastics down 6.7% and paper products down 2.8%.  

According to the manufacturers directory, Northwest Arkansas accounts for the largest share of the state's industrial employment with 114,365 manufacturing jobs, or 56% of the state, down 7.5% over the past twenty-four months. The Northeast region ranks second at 37,902 manufacturing jobs, down 10% over two years. Southwest Arkansas is home to 33,859 industrial jobs, down 14.1%, while the Southeast is home to 19,187 jobs, down 5.5%.

MNI's city data shows Fort Smith is Arkansas' top city for manufacturing employment, with 15,703 jobs, down 15.1% over the past twenty-four months. Little Rock ranks second with 12,983 jobs, down 5.7% over two years.  Springdale is home to 11,691 industrial jobs, down 4.7%, while Pine Bluff accounts for 7,176 jobs, down 2.8%. Jobs increased 1% in fifth-ranked Rogers, with the city currently home to 7,134 jobs.

Detailed profiles of Arkansas' 3,779 manufacturers and 523 industrial distributors can be found in the 2011 Arkansas Manufacturers Register, available in print for $96 and on CD-ROM from $142. Each profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information (phone, web, e-mail), 14,022 executives by name and title, product(s) manufactured, annual sales, number of employees, and more. Visitors to may generate custom profiles of manufacturers using thirteen different criteria, including area or zip code, county, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more.

Manufacturers' News, Inc., publisher of manufacturers' directories since 1912, compiles and produces manufacturing guides, statistics and databases for all 50 states. MNI also maintains, an industrial search engine designed specifically for locating manufacturers and suppliers nationwide. For more information, contact Manufacturers' News, Inc., 1633 Central St., Evanston, IL, 60201, 847-864-7000, FAX 847-332-1100.  

SOURCE Manufacturers' News, Inc.