Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Indiana Loses Over 17,000 Manufucturing Jobs

Here's a sobering statistic. Indiana lost more than 17,000 manufacturing jobs in the last year alone, largely due to losses in the automotive and manufactured housing sectors. While Indiana has had some success in attracting new manufacturing jobs, the new jobs typically don't pay near as well as the old jobs being lost. An AP story explains the bad news:

Indiana lost 17,108 manufacturing jobs over the past year, a steeper-than-recent drop spurred by the struggling auto industry and a decline in need for manufactured housing.

State manufacturing jobs sank to about 677,000 during the 12-month period that ended in March, a 2.4 percent decrease, according to the 2007 Indiana Manufacturers Directory published by Illinois-based Manufacturers' News Inc.

That percentage decrease topped declines ranging from 1 percent to 2 percent over the past three years, according to the directory, which surveyed more than 11,000 state manufacturers.

The Indiana decrease is similar to declines seen in neighboring states that rely on the automotive industry, Manufacturers' News President Tom Dubin said. The company found Michigan saw manufacturing jobs drop 3.5 percent and Ohio recorded a 2.3 percent drop. Illinois, which doesn't rely on the industry as much, had a drop of less than 1 percent.

Changes in the automotive industry and manufactured housing were two main reasons Indiana lost jobs over the past year, said Andrew Penca, commissioner of the state Department of Workforce Development.

Indiana saw several automotive industry plants close or cut jobs in the past year. Guide Corp. announced last fall that it planned to close its Anderson factory, which employed more than 1,000 workers at the time. The factory then closed in January. Delphi Corp. also will stop production at its Anderson factory this summer.

Northern Indiana's manufactured housing makers saw a slowdown because a demand for homes and recreational vehicles that spiked after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 started to wane, Penca said.

"The good news is, on the back end over the next several years, we've got new jobs coming on line that are either in the automotive industry or still in the manufacturing industry that will help offset those losses," Penca said.

He said Indiana was the only state last year that had expansion announcements by three major automotive or transportation-related original equipment manufacturers.

Honda Motor Co. has started building a new factory in Greensburg that will employ 2,000 people. Columbus-based Cummins Inc. announced expansion plans, and Toyota has started producing cars at a new assembly line in the Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. plant near Lafayette.

"That's promising and that certainly helps swallow some of the tough news we hear," Penca said. In addition to that, the Indiana manufacturing sector saw in April its first monthly jobs increase since June 2006, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.

Overall, though, Dubin said he's seen a steady decrease in manufacturing jobs since Sept. 11, 2001.

"It seems like the blip has been when it hasn't," he said. "It's kind of been a small, steady trickle of jobs both in Indiana and nationwide."


Sir Hailstone said...

When Ford wraps up its operations at the eastside plant, there's another couple thousand or so that's displaced. Thankfully everyone I knew that worked there has taken their retirement and RAN! On top of that, Chrysler's former Tibbs Ave. foundry is now razed.

It's still up in the air what is going to become of the International engine plant - Ford and International are bickering over warranty costs incurred from failure prone Power Stroke engines built in model years 2003 and 2004. International shut down the plant for about a week to withhold engines from Ford, a Michigan judge issued an injunction but it's all going to be a high stakes game of chicken and which company will blink first - Ford cancelling the contract and be without a diesel engine supplier [Cummins is rumored as wooing Ford but it is also rumored Cummins is locked into an exclusive deal with Chrysler], or International walks away and loses their sole customer for medium duty truck engines, leading to a likely closure of the Brookville Road facility.

Back when most of these facilities were built the concept of an automaker outside the USA gaining a foothold was unimaginable. Now Asian nameplates outsell American ones on a regular basis [yes I know some "Asian" cars are assembled here in the US]

Indiana literally had its eggs in one big basket with The Big 3. Unfortunately that basket now has holes in the bottom and it's come back to bite us hard. On the bright side, it appears Chrysler is keeping both Kokomo area plants open after the Germans complete the spinoff to the equity group, and for GM the Fort Wayne assembly and Truck & Bus facilities are safe - for the moment. In contrast, after the eastside Ford then Visteon then Ford again but placed in an LLC closes then Ford will no longer have a direct presence in Indiana. Only residual effect in NW Indiana with Ford's Chicago Heights metal stamping plant and Chicago Assembly plant, and Clark/Floyd/Harrison Counties with two Ford assembly plants located in Louisville, Kentucky.

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

I found an interesting site included in Indiana Workforce Development (which you may already know of):


The site provides warn notices covering layoffs and closures. Since the first of this year up through May, we have either laid off or terminated 4,612 workers.

Daniels is so keen on hyping the jobs that he secures, but you rarely hear anything about those lost.

Anonymous said...

How long can Indiana withstand the exodus of "living wage" jobs?
There is of course, plenty of blame that gets tossed around but I cannot help but feel that the American consumer has purchased their way into their own unemployment line.
Granted we are in a global economy but the worldwide playing field is far from level.

Anonymous said...

The worldwide playing field is INDEED not level, and here's a screaming-out-loud example:

The Chrysler Foundry didn't just "close." It was a huge polluter, and the corporate bigwigs found a willing Mexican govt. Daimler-Chrysler, which was never more than a bailout entity, raped and burned the assets, dismantled the foundry, and moved it to Mexico. No pesky environmental laws to deal with.

The real laugher here? The foundry's emissions now travel 75 nautical miles, with prevailing winds, into the Southwestern US.
Indianapolis smokestacks are not belching into Sante Fe. Odd, huh?

So all we did in this crazy exchange, is lose hundreds of jobs here, and exchange midwestern/eastern airborne pollutants for Southwestern pollutants.

And Mexico got nary a hand-slap. Now with Presidente Bush, their hapless unindicated co-conspirator, driving our trade policy. Hurrumph. Trade policy in this administration is an oxymoronic phrase.

Our Southern border hemispheric cousins need to know, if they steal jobs, and belch pollutants without consequence, they'll have a hard time making friends in America.

And so it goes.

Anonymous said...

It's the plan of the Governor AND the Mayor.
The rich get richer and the middle class get poor!