EVANSTON, Ill.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--/Manufacturers’ News, Inc./-- Industrial employment in West Virginia declined one percent over the past year according to the 2014 West Virginia Manufacturers Register®, an industrial directory and database published by Manufacturers’ News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports West Virginia lost 830 manufacturing jobs from July 2012 to July 2013, a smaller decline than the 1.3% MNI reported the state lost over the 2011-2012 survey period.
“However, business conditions have improved slightly over last year, and employment losses are not as severe, which may signal a turnaround for the state.”
Manufacturers’ News reports West Virginia is now home to 1,886 manufacturers employing 80,845 workers.
“The abundance of cheap natural gas combined with tougher EPA regulations continues to hurt the coal industry,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, business conditions have improved slightly over last year, and employment losses are not as severe, which may signal a turnaround for the state.”
Accounting for 15% of the state’s industrial employment, or 11,829 jobs, coal mining remains West Virginia’s top industrial sector, although MNI data shows a 5% decline for the industry over last year. Other major sectors have fared better, with second-ranked chemical manufacturing down 3.3% and representing 7,948 jobs, and third-ranked industrial machinery and equipment up 1.2%, accounting for 7,150.
MNI reports employment in primary metals suffered the largest decline, dropping 13.4%, due partially to the closure of historic steel company Wheeling Corrugating, which had supplied steel for the Hoover Dam and the new World Trade Center, but was shut down after parent company RG Steel filed for bankruptcy.
Other sectors that lost jobs included furniture/fixtures, down 9.7%; stone/clay/glass down 5.6%; and fabricated metals, down 1.1%. Gains were seen in electronics, up 8.8%; petroleum products, up 6.4%; food products, up 2.1%; and rubber/plastics, up 1.9%. Transportation equipment manufacturing rose 1% with the expansion of a Hino Motors facility in Williamstown, and is expected to keep rising with Toyota’s plans to add jobs at its Buffalo assembly plant.
Other bright spots for the state included the opening of Italian manufacturer Pietro Fiorentini’s new shale oil treatment components plant; and NGK’s plans to expand its spark plug facility in Sissonville.
Manufacturers’ News reports the Northern region of the state accounts for 39,008 jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago. The Southwest region accounts for 28,556 jobs, down 1.7%. Central West Virginia is home to 7,193 industrial workers, down 2.5%, while the Southeast is home to 6,088, down 2.7%.
MNI’s city data shows Huntington is West Virginia’s top city for manufacturing employment, with 5,777 jobs, down 4.2% over the past twelve months. Second-ranked Morgantown is home to 4,352 jobs, up 1.4%. Moorefield accounts for 3,360 industrial jobs, up 1%, while industrial jobs in Charleston fell 2.6%, with the fourth-ranked city home to 3,114 jobs. Industrial employment grew 2.1% in Martinsburg, with the fifth-ranked city home to 2,799 industrial jobs.
Detailed profiles of West Virginia’s 1,886 manufacturing companies and 308 distributors can be found in the 2014 West Virginia Manufacturers Register® available in print for $87, or available online through MNI’s industrial database subscription service EZSelect.com. Users may generate custom profiles of manufacturers using a variety of criteria, including region, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more. Each business profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information, 7,344 executives by name and title, product(s) manufactured, and more.
Manufacturers’ News, Inc. is the nation’s oldest and largest publisher of state industrial directories and manufacturers databases, and the industrial search engine IndustryNet.com. For 101 years the company has identified, researched and profiled manufacturing companies. MNI employs an 85-person editorial staff to scour business registrations, trade journals, financial reports, and many other sources to pinpoint every manufacturing establishment in the U.S. Each manufacturer is contacted throughout the year to update their profiles, including their employee counts. For more information, contact Manufacturers’ News, Inc., 1633 Central St., Evanston, IL, 60201, 847-864-7000, http://www.manufacturersnews.com