State lost fewer manufacturing jobs, Cedar Rapids gained 1.4%

The Quaker Oats facility and the Sixth Street Power Station (in foreground) on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2003, in northeast Cedar Rapids.
The Quaker Oats facility and the Sixth Street Power Station (in foreground) on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2003, in northeast Cedar Rapids.

Iowa dropped fewer manufacturing jobs in 2010 compared to the year before, as industrial employment slipped 1.4 percent, according to the 2011 Iowa Manufacturers Register.

The industrial directory, published annually by Manufacturers’ News of Evanston, Ill., reports the state lost 3,972 industrial jobs between January 2010 and January 2011, much smaller than the nearly 15,000 manufacturing jobs Iowa discarded in the 2009-2010 survey period.

Iowa is home to 5,554 manufacturers, employing 265,030 workers. Sectors that shed jobs over the past year included electronics, down 7.6 percent after cutbacks at Electrolux in Jefferson and Webster City.

“Losses have slowed considerably, and the state’s educated work force and agricultural base are helping the recovery take hold,” said Tom Dubin, Manufacturers’ News president.

By the numbers, the top cities ended the survey period in this order:

Cedar Rapids remains the state’s top city for industrial employment, with 19,809 manufacturing jobs, up 1.4 percent from last year.

Des Moines accounts for 17,317 manufacturing jobs, down 1 percent. percent in 2010.

Waterloo saw manufacturing employment decrease 2.1 percent and is home to 12,873 industrial workers.

Davenport accounts for 8,646 of the state’s manufacturing jobs, down 1.3 percent.

Dubuque accounts for 8,345 manufacturing jobs, down 5.9 percent in 2010.

Ryerson Inc., Enervation and Greenstar North America also have opened new facilities, while hydraulic-lift maker Woodbine Manufacturing and Unverferth Manufacturing in Shell Rock have announced plans to expand their manufacturing operations.

Food processing remains Iowa’s largest industrial sector by employment, with 56,877 jobs, virtually unchanged from 2009-2010. Industrial machinery and equipment ranks second with 45,924 jobs, down 4.3 percent.East Central Iowa accounts for the most industrial employment in the state, with 93,084 jobs, with no significant change reported for 2010. Southeast Iowa is home to 59,070 industrial workers, virtually unchanged from last year, while the West Central region accounts for 50,636, down 4.1 percent.

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