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Missouri manufacturing growth outpaces national average

A national manufacturing directory calculates that Missouri manufacturing is growing by a rate 11 times greater than the national average.

A study published by Manufacturer’s News, Inc. shows that Missouri gained 3,721 manufacturing jobs from August 2012 to August 2013, or 1% — more than triple the gain MNI reported for the 2011-2012 survey period.

MNI reports that Missouri now has 7,876 manufacturers employing 366,877 workers.

The big growth appears to be taking place in the transportation equipment segment which rose 1.4% over the survey period. And MNI predicts that growth will continue with GM’s planned expansion at their stamping plant in Wentzville and Leggett and Platt’s expansion of its auto parts plant in Carthage.

“With the new line coming on at the Ford plant in Clay County in the years to come, the growth in this sector will only continue, and that’s exciting,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri.

Currently, transportation equipment manufacturing employs 43,166 workers, the second highest sector in Missouri behind food products. Currently, MNI reports 52,138 workers are employed in the food products segment, but the report showed no growth in that sector during the survey period.

“The increases in the transportation sector of this study shows that we were right to go to the mat for the incentives included in the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act in 2010,” said McCarty, a key architect of the jobs act passed during the 2010 special session of the legislature.

Other sectors showing gains over the span of the survey include electronics, chemical, fabricated metals, and stone/clay/glass manufacturing.

“Missouri ranks as a great place to do business,” said Tom Dubin, President of Manufacturer’s News, the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “The state’s reasonable business costs and central location for the shipment of goods continue to result in many companies investing in its manufacturing sector, particularly those in the transportation equipment sector.”

Other interesting data in the MNI report include figures that show southeast Missouri is home to the largest number of employees engaged in manufacturing, and that Kansas City is the city with the fastest growth rate of manufacturing jobs.

“These figures show that manufacturing is leading the way in the recovery of the state’s economy,” said McCarty. “A healthy manufacturing base equals an economically healthy Missouri.”

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