#667 – The Best Places to Work in Manufacturing – 2017 Edition

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Happy 2018! We thank you all for joining us and we are looking forward to the new year. What better way to start the new year than with an article that includes two of our favorite things – manufacturing and small(ish) towns.

The Best Places to Work in Manufacturing – 2017 Edition
Derek Miller DEC 08, 2017 SMARTASSET.COM

For long periods in this nation’s history manufacturing was the dominant industry, providing jobs and financial security for wide swaths of the population. Today manufacturing is not the force it once was with service jobs being the go-to occupation for many workers. This movement of manufacturing jobs out of America became a big political issue the 2016 presidential election. In some places across America however, manufacturing industries are still thriving.

In order to find the best places to work in manufacturing, SmartAsset looked at data for 483 metro areas. Specifically, we looked at data on employment growth in manufacturing, income growth in manufacturing, density of manufacturing jobs and housing costs.

Key Findings
• No big cities – Smaller metro areas dominated this list. The average population across our top 10 is about 300,000. But if you discount Greenville, North Carolina and Ogden-Clearfield, Utah that figure drops in half to 150,000. The largest metro area in our top 25 is Louisville-Jefferson, Kentucky-Indiana, which has 1.2 million residents.
• Large variance across metro areas – In this study we found that there are some places where manufacturing jobs are growing pretty rapidly and others where manufacturing jobs are leaving in a hurry. For example, in Rochester, Minnesota the number of manufacturing jobs dropped by almost 30% from 2010 to 2015. In other places, like Ogden-Clearfield, the number of manufacturing jobs grew by 55% from 2010 to 2015.

Top 10 Best Places to Work in Manufacturing
1. Talladega-Sylacauga, Alabama
2. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina
3. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
4. Rockford, Illinois
5. Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Kentucky
6. Greenville, North Carolina
7. Napa, California
8. Amarillo, Texas
9. Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin
10. Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Washington

Full report