Manufacturing job growth in Florida intensified over the past 12 months, according to data collected by Manufacturers’ News Inc. (MNI). MNI reports manufacturers in Florida added 3,921 jobs from March 2017 to March 2018 – double the number of jobs gained over the 2016-2017 survey period.
This marks the fifth straight year Florida has added industrial jobs. Currently, the state is home to 13,674 manufacturers employing 478,248 workers.
“Florida gets high marks for a number of site-selection factors, including an abundance of business incentives and capital, and also benefits from some of the most solid infrastructure in the nation,” says Tom Dubin, MNI president. “However, Florida faces tough competition from its neighbors, and its workforce often lacks the skills needed for more advanced processes in aerospace, electronics and other high-tech industries.”
The fabricated metals sector led gains over the past year and ranks first in the state for manufacturing employment with 47,266 jobs. Second-ranked electronics also added jobs, up a half percent to 46,786 workers, while third-ranked food processing held steady at 45,243 jobs.
Additional Florida manufacturing job gains were recorded in the furniture/fixtures industry, instruments/related products, industrial machinery and rubber/plastics. Offsetting these gains were job losses in primary metals, printing/publishing, textiles/apparel and transportation equipment.
Several new plant announcements in Florida bode well for the coming year, most notably Jinko Solar’s plans to break ground on a $410 million factory in Jacksonville and Nucor’s plans to establish a rebar mill in Frostproof. Over the year, Lockheed Martin established a new facility in Pinellas Park, while Dart Container and PGT Innovations expanded their facilities in Plant City and Miami.
Industrial locations announcing closures included Pre-Cast Specialties in Pompano Beach, and a Snyder’s-Lance snack food plant in Perry.
Jacksonville remains the state’s top city by industrial employment with 38,859 jobs. Employment in second-ranked Orlando grew 1 percent to 34,079 industrial jobs, while employment in third-ranked Miami declined 1.3 percent to 29,594 jobs.
Source: Reliable Plant