Where is Manufacturing Making a Comeback?

After years of losing jobs to lower-cost, overseas operations, several Rust Belt states are seeing a resurgence of manufacturing, led surprisingly by Michigan.

In the last three years, Michigan gained nearly 70,000 manufacturing jobs, the most of any other state, according to the latest government figures. Indiana and Ohio followed with each gaining some 50,000 jobs (see list).

Most Gains in Manufacturing
December 2009 through December 2012

Michigan (68,000)
Indiana (51,000)
Ohio (49,000)
Texas (43,000)
Illinois (40,000)
Washington (31,000)
Wisconsin (26,000)
Tennessee (22,000)
South Carolina (21,000)
Iowa (21,000)
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from National Association of Manufacturers

Nationwide, more than a half-million manufacturing jobs have been created since the end of 2009. Good news to be sure, but still not enough to make up for the more than 2 million jobs the sector lost during the 2007-2009 recession. Today, just under 12 million Americans work in manufacturing, down from a peak of 19.6 million in 1979.

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