Indiana and Oregon among Top Manufacturing States

July was a good month for U.S. manufacturers, with business conditions improving and 6,000 net jobs added to the sector, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed some positive movement too, increasing by 4.5 percent in July to 55.4 percent, thanks in part to a recovering housing market and healthy sales in the automotive sector.

General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford all posted double-digit gains compared to July of last year, while exports of American-made cars is set to increase dramatically by 2014 – Chrysler aims to double its exports to half-million vehicles next year.

Could this signal resurgence in U.S. manufacturing? While some argue that manufacturing will never make a full recovery, a new study from 24/7 Wall—a financial news and commentary website—reveals some promising statistics around where and how manufacturing is thriving in America.

The study ranks states by how large their manufacturing economies are as a percentage of their total output. Here’s a summary of the rankings.

#1. Indiana. This state has a $84 billion manufacturing industry accounting for 28 percent of its output. The manufacturing sector has grown 3.7 percent per year for the past three years due to motor vehicle-related and chemicals manufacturing jobs created by Honda and pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.

#2. Oregon. With a $55 billion manufacturing industry, this state is the second largest producer (after California) of computer and electronic products in the country, making up 20 percent of U.S. GDP thanks to heavy investment from tech companies like AT&T.

#3. Louisiana. The nation’s leading oil refiner, it’s among the largest manufacturers of chemicals, and petroleum and coal products, with 23 percent or $55.10 billion of its output coming from manufacturing.

#4. North Carolina. Fourth-largest manufacturing economy in the country, with a heavy emphasis on chemical manufacturing and the food, beverage, and tobacco product industry.

#5. Wisconsin. Paper manufacturing giant with 19 percent of its output coming from manufacturing.

#6. Kentucky. With $30 billion in manufacturing output, this state is a heavy producer of motor vehicles and parts as well as electrical equipment, appliances and components. Louisville is home to the GE Appliance Park, where the company has recently built two new assembly lines. The assembly lines will produce high-efficiency washing machines and will create about 200 jobs, in addition to the thousands of jobs GE has created in the region over the past few years with its opening of several other factories.

#7. Ohio. The largest manufacturer of primary and fabricated metals products and the leader in plastics and rubber products, Ohio is home to Goodyear Tire & Rubber, and one of the top states for manufacturing employment, with roughly 658,000 manufacturing jobs.

#8. Iowa. High output in food, beverage, and tobacco products manufacturing. A leading producer of both corn and soybeans.

#9. Michigan. Home of the “Big Three” automakers, Michigan’s manufacturing output in 2012 was $66.2 billion—eighth highest in the country. Motor vehicle manufacturing accounted for nearly five percent of the state’s total GDP in 2011 and it also led the nation with $18.8 billion in motor vehicle manufacturing output in 2011.

The resurgence in the auto industry has led to job growth, and Michigan leads the country in manufacturing employment.

#10. Alabama. Strong manufacturing base in durable goods—wood products and nonmetallic mineral products. Mobile County will be the site of Airbus’s new A320 jetliner final assembly line, which will likely be the company’s first U.S.-based production facility. The project, which is scheduled to begin in 2015, is expected to create thousands of jobs.

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