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IndustryNet Blog

Georgia manufacturing roars ahead, adding jobs for a seventh straight year

Posted by IndustryNet on Thursday, August 10, 2017


According to new data released today by MNI, manufacturers in Georgia added jobs for a seventh straight year, as continued gains in the auto industry boosted employment across multiple sub-sectors.

MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial information that powers IndustryNet, reports Peach State manufacturers added 4,373 new jobs between May 2016 and May 2017, or 1%.

This is about double the gain MNI reported for the 2015-2016 survey period, in which employment inched up a half percent, pointing to fresh momentum in the state’s industrial sector.

Auto industry, related sectors flourish

Overall, Georgia’s manufacturing job growth has been steady over the past seven years, with gains largely led by the state’s flourishing auto sector. Since May of 2010, Georgia added an astounding 27,000 jobs, according to MNI data, an increase of 6%. During this seven-year period, the state’s transportation equipment sector grew by 32%, eventually employing more workers than historically significant sectors like industrial machinery and rubber.

Transportation equipment now ranks as the state’s third-largest industry by number of manufacturing jobs, quickly closing in on Georgia’s massive textile industry for the #2 spot.

Gains over the past year were not limited to transportation equipment, but were spread across multiple sectors -- a reflection of Georgia’s robust and diverse economy. Employment increases were reported by manufacturers of fabricated metals; chemicals; industrial machinery; electronics; food products; rubber/plastics; and furniture, among others.

Regionally, gains were also widely distributed, with all five of Georgia’s regions posting steady gains. Increases were strongest, however, in Northeast and South Central Georgia.

Multiple site selection factors influencing growthGeorgiamanufacturing

According to recent rankings compiled by CNBC, Georgia has risen to that publication’s number 2 spot for site selection factors, ranking high across a spectrum of key metrics, including solid infrastructure, availability of capital, low business costs, and the education level of its workforce.

The latter might prove to be Georgia’s greatest asset. Recent data collected by MNI suggests the Peach State is ahead of the pack in terms of recent industrial growth in the South, with reports on Alabama and Mississippi pointing to a slowing manufacturing sector. Notably, Georgia ranks above these states in workforce and education, indicating a higher availability of skilled workers – now a major consideration for many businesses looking to expand or relocate.

Competition remains stiff, however, with states across the Southeast and beyond vying for some big names to set up shop within their borders. In recent days, the massive Toyota and Mazda joint venture announced for the U.S. set off a bidding war amongst multiple states, Georgia a top contender.

Looking Ahead

Numerous plant openings were announced in Georgia over the year, and many more are slated for the years ahead, suggesting industrial job growth will continue to thrive in the state. Most notably, Irving Consumer Products and Kumho Tire Georgia broke ground on new facilities in Macon, rejuvenating that city’s industrial sector after Boeing shuttered a large plant there. Other new operations included Constellium NV’s new aluminum plant and Vanguard National Trailer’s facility in Trenton.

The announcement this time last year of Adidas’ new factory in Atlanta was a major boon to the state’s industrial sector – though a huge operation doesn’t always mean rampant hiring. The Atlanta Adidas “speedfactory” will be largely manned by sophisticated automation equipment and robots, planning an initial run of 50,000 shoes in 2017. Though this type of automation does mean fewer jobs, the Adidas plant will still employ 160 initially for tasks robots haven’t yet mastered like shoelace tying.

By the Numbers

Georgia’s 9,124 industrial companies employ 493,350 workers.

Here’s a further breakdown of the numbers:

Georgia’s top five industries based on number of jobs:

1. Food Processing: 69,885 jobs
2. Textiles/Apparel: 52,973 jobs
3. Transportation Equipment: 47,520 jobs
4. Industrial Machinery: 43,680 jobs
5. Rubber/Plastics: 30,262 jobs

Georgia’s top five cities for number of manufacturing jobs:

1. Atlanta: 59,430 jobs
2. Dalton: 22,469 jobs
3. Alpharetta: 20,522 jobs
4. Savannah: 17,014 jobs
5. Norcross: 14,261 jobs

Top Companies

Georgia’s top companies by number of manufacturing jobs are representative of the state’s diverse industrial sector, producing everything from textiles and aeronautics to paper products and automobiles.

1. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. (Savannah) - 10,000 jobs
2. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. (Marietta) - 6,200 jobs
3. Coca-Cola Co., The (Atlanta) - 5,000 jobs
4. Georgia-Pacific, LLC (Atlanta) - 4,000 jobs
5. Mohawk Industries, Inc., Aladdin Div. (Dalton) - 3,255 jobs

For more information on Georgia manufacturers

MNI’s extensive manufacturing data powers IndustryNet, an industrial marketplace that connects buyers with suppliers. IndustryNet allows users to search and source more than ten thousand types of products, parts, supplies, and services for free. IndustryNet® lists every U.S. manufacturer plus thousands of wholesalers & distributors and industrial service providers. To connect with industrial suppliers in Georgia and across the U.S. start your free search on IndustryNet. Or, to access detailed profiles of Georgia’s 9,124 manufacturers and their 30,000 executives, learn more about MNI’s EZSelect database subscription.

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