Tennessee manufacturing employment climbed for a fourth straight year, but at a slower rate than in previous years, reports the 2016 Tennessee Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers’ News, Inc. (MNI)
According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Tennessee gained 1,994 industrial jobs from September 2014 to September 2015, or a half percent. Tennessee is now home to 6,828 manufacturers employing 386,185 workers. MNI reports the state has so far added 12,637 industrial jobs or 3.4% since September 2011.
Gains were led by the transportation equipment industry, which increased 5.4% over the year and has climbed steadily over the past several years, adding 11,754 jobs or 30% since September 2009. Transportation equipment ranks as the state’s largest sector by number of jobs, employing 51,001.
The transportation equipment sector is expected to keep growing as Nissan ramps up hiring at its Smyrna plant, and GM adds jobs at its Spring Hill facility. Several Tennessee auto suppliers announced expansions over the year, including Topre America; DENSO; Duro Hilex; SaarGummi; Magneti Marelli; Yanfeng Automotive Interiors; and RemSource USA. In addition, auto supplier Proper Polymers plans to break ground on a new factory in Pulaski, and truck manufacturer Morgan Olson LLC will open a new plant in Loudon.
Industrial machinery, the state’s second largest sector by employment, held steady at 41,194 jobs, as did third-ranked fabricated metals, which employs 39,877.