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For a third straight year, manufacturing employment in Utah posted a gain, according to the 2014 Utah Manufacturers Directory, an industrial directory and database published by Manufacturers’ News, Inc. MNI reports Utah gained 3,256 manufacturing jobs from August 2012 to August 2013, or 1.9 percent.
Manufacturers’ News reports Utah is now home to 3,670 manufacturers employing 167,992 workers.
“Utah ranks as a great place to do business,” said Tom Dubin, president of the Illiniois-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “The state’s winning mix of an educated workforce, low business costs and abundant natural resources has resulted in many companies investing in its industrial sector.”
Significant manufacturing gains for the state included the opening of Boeing’s new aircraft components plant in West Jordan; the expansion of West Liberty Foods’ plant in Tremonton; and Autoliv Inc’s expansion of its auto safety parts plants in Promontory and Tremonton. In addition, Nature Foods plans to open a pork processing facility in Box Elder County; SyberJet Aircraft will locate an assembly plant in Cedar City; and IM Flash, a joint venture of Intel and Micron, added jobs at its Lehi factory.
According to MNI, food products manufacturing ranks as Utah’s largest sector by industrial employment, with 18,393 jobs, virtually unchanged over the year. Second-ranked electronics employs 17,822 Utah workers, with no significant change reported. Employment in third-ranked chemicals manufacturing rose 4.7 percent, with the sector currently employing 14,276 Utah workers.
Other manufacturing sectors reporting gains included oil and gas extraction, up 7 percent; transportation equipment, up 6.1 percent; paper products, up 3.1 percent; and fabricated metals, up 3 percent. Losses were reported in textiles/apparel, down 5.7 percent; printing/publishing, down 3.4 percent; and lumber/wood, down 1.4 percent.
Industrial locations announcing closures included Hostess bakeries in Salt Lake City and Ogden; apparel company SanSegal Sportswear in Sandy; and Darigold’s milk-processing plant in Salt Lake City.
Manufacturers’ News reports Northern Utah accounts for the most industrial employment in the state with 156,103 jobs, up 1.9 percent over the year. Southern Utah accounts for 6,257 manufacturing jobs, with no significant change reported, while industrial employment in Central Utah rose 2.7 percent, with the region accounting for 5,632 jobs.
MNI’s city data shows Salt Lake City remains Utah’s top city for manufacturing employment, home to 50,739 jobs, down 1 percent over the year. Second-ranked Ogden accounts for 14,157 jobs, with no significant change reported. Industrial employment in Provo decreased 2.1 percent over the past twelve months and is currently home to 10,822 industrial workers. Logan accounts for 9,939 industrial jobs, virtually unchanged over the year while Clearfield accounts for 5,780 jobs, up 9.2 percent.