Manufacturing in America is more robust than you might think. Many metro areas across the country have growing manufacturing sectors that employ workers in good jobs and enable them to save for the future.
Recently, SmartAsset, an online financial services company, ranked the 10 best places to work in manufacturing. To get the rankings, SmartAsset examined data on 480 metro areas. The company looked at six factors: manufacturing as a percent of the workforce; job growth from 2013 to 2016; job growth from 2015 to 2016; income growth from 2013 to 2016; income growth from 2015 to 2016; and housing costs as a percent of income.
After crunching the numbers, SmartAsset found that five of the top 10 best places to work in manufacturing are in the Midwest. Michigan, a state with a rich manufacturing history, scored particularly well with three metro areas in the top 10. The South also did well. In fact, the top two metro areas, Martinsville, VA, and Bowling Green, KY, are both in the South.
Martinsville is the top spot to work in manufacturing. Nearly 24 percent of workers are employed in manufacturing. From 2013 to 2016, the number of manufacturing workers grew by 23 percent. From just 2015 to 2016 alone, Martinsville saw a 12 percent growth in manufacturing jobs.
Bowling Green ranks second. More than 17 percent of the workforce is employed in manufacturing. From 2013 to 2016, the number of manufacturing jobs grew by 12 percent. But what makes Bowling Green stand out is the pay. From 2015 to 2016, the average pay for manufacturing workers increased by 10.5 percent.
Rounding out the top 10 are Elkhart and Goshen, IN; Lansing and East Lansing, MI; Tullahoma and Manchester, TN; Wilmington, NC; Muskegon, MI; Lakeland and Winter Haven, FL; Midland, MI; and Bay City, MI.
Transportation equipment manufacturing is the most important industry in the Elkhart-Goshen area, with 182 establishments employing 36,551 people. Specifically, Elkhart-Goshen specializes in travel trailer and camper manufacturing. Overall, 54 percent of the workforce works in manufacturing, the most in the nation. From 2013 to 2016, the number of manufacturing jobs grew by more than 19 percent.
Early in its history, Lansing was an automobile manufacturing powerhouse. Today the economy is more diverse, with Michigan State University playing an important role. Even so, manufacturing is still prevalent. From 2013 to 2016, average manufacturing pay grew by 19 percent.
More than 8,300 people in the Tullahoma-Manchester area—one-fourth of the workforce—are employed in manufacturing, particularly motor vehicle parts manufacturing. The area is also an affordable place for the average manufacturing worker. Local housing costs are equal to just 14 percent of the average worker’s income.
To learn more about the rest of the top 10 places to work in manufacturing, click https://tinyurl.com/y9hzpcph.