Virginia loses 26,500 manufacturing jobs

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Virginia’ lost more than 26,500 manufacturing jobs in 12 months, the sharpest drop in at least 16 years.

Evanston, Ill.-based Manufacturers’ News Inc. says the loss represented 7.1 percent of the state’s total manufacturing labor pool. Virginia lost 377 manufacturers and 26,531 jobs in the 12 months ending in October.

Manufacturers’ News says the Old Dominion now is home to 6,854 manufacturers employing 347,940 workers, compared to a high of 440,261 in 2001.

The manufacturing job loss is the highest that Manufacturers’ News has recorded in Virginia since it began tracking the state 16 years ago.

Transportation equipment manufacturing saw one of the largest drops in employment, down nearly 11 percent, according to the report. The employment decline was due partially to layoffs at Volvo Trucks and International Automotive Components, and the closure of a JTEKT automotive plant.

Food products manufacturing has overtaken transportation equipment as Virginia’s largest industrial sector, with 36,486 jobs, down 2.6 percent from 2008. Transportation equipment ranks second with 34,689 jobs.



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