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The Agurban

#650 – Where the Jobs Are: The Fastest Growing Sectors for Manufacturing

Aug 29, 2017


A recent report on IndustryWeek.com featured the work of Headlight Data, a comprehensive data system available to the economic and workforce development industry. The report listed the top 10 fastest growing sectors for manufacturing. This is good news for Agracel, as six of those 10 sectors are represented in our portfolio.

Where the Jobs Are: The Fastest Growing Sectors for Manufacturing
Adrienne Selko, IndustryWeek.com, Aug. 18, 2017

The manufacturing sector has shown some growth over the past few years.  Since 2011, the sector has created jobs every year, a 6-year expansion that exceeds the 5-year expansion experienced 1994-1998, according to a new report from consulting firm Headlight Data. The report showed that the industry has created nearly 500,000 new jobs in the last 6 years.

This number should, however, be put in perspective, since the sector has lost 5 million jobs since 2000.

Within the sector, one of the brightest spots has been the automotive sector.

“The automotive sector has seen a lot of improvement since the recession, “said Chris Engle, Headlight’s chief analyst. “The same is true of the aerospace sector. Major companies have expanded their operations in the Southeast and have brought a lot of jobs to the area.”

While Headlight Data is predicting slower growth this year, they do feel the sector will continue to be healthy. “The key factors to long term manufacturing growth in the U.S. are going to be the ability to maintain a healthy economy, maintain relationships with global trading partners and continue to invest in the workforce to increase productivity.

“There is an opportunity for the U.S. to regain a foothold in industries that have left due to labor costs. We must take advantage of the opportunity,” Engle added.

Below is Headlight Data’s list, with the number of jobs added and the percentage increase over the past five years that the number of jobs added represents.

  1. Transportation Equipment – added 270,000 jobs, a 20% increase.
  2. Fabricated Metal Products – added 109,000 jobs, an 8% increase.
  3. Food Products – this sector added 95,000 which represents a 7% increase.
  4. Plastics and Rubber Products – added 75,000 jobs, a 12% increase.
  5. Beverages – this sector added 66,000 jobs, a 39% increase.
  6. Machinery – added 50,000 jobs, which represents a 5% increase.
  7. Wood Products – 31,000 jobs were added, a 9% increase.
  8. Nonmetallic Metal Products – added 15,000 jobs, a 4% increase.
  9. Primary Metals – 10,000 jobs added, a 3% increase.
  10. Chemicals – this sector added 10,000 jobs, representing a 1% increase.

We are pleased to see so many of our core sectors on this list. However, we do know that slower times are predicted. As always, we will keep an eye out to the future of all manufacturing sectors.