Georgia factories continue to add jobs

Manufacturers in Georgia continue to add workers, with more hiring on the horizon, according to a new report on the sector’s health.

The state added 7,769 manufacturing jobs from May 2012 to May 2013, a 1.6 percent increase, according to the 2014 Georgia Manufacturers Register, published annually. It was the second year in a row for gains in industrial employment.

The increase reflected the broader improvement in state employment since the end of the recession, despite a few recent bumps in the road to job growth. Georgia’s jobless rate rose to 8.6 percent in June from 8.3 percent the previous month, with public sector job cuts outpacing hiring in the private sector, which includes manufacturing.

The Georgia Manufacturers Register, published by Manufacturers’ News Inc., said the job gains for the state were more than double the growth reported for 2012 and better than the national average reported by the U.S. Labor Department.

The state’s gains were strongest in transportation equipment, up 6.2 percent. More employment is coming with recently announced expansions by Kia Motors, Hitachi and automotive suppliers such as sunroof maker Inalfa Roof Systems and Decostar Industries, which produces automotive exterior and interior systems.

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Most manufacturing jobs in the state are in the northwest, with Atlanta the top city for manufacturing employment, followed by Dalton, Norcross, Alpharetta and Marietta.

The workforce in food products — which represent the largest share of the state’s 481,936 manufacturing jobs, or 14 percent — gained 3.1 percent, the Register said. The sector with the largest decline, textiles/apparel, which is the second-largest manufacturer, lost nearly 2 percent of its workforce. Employment in the third-largest sector, industrial machinery and equipment, rose 2 percent.

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