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Illinois Manufacturing Lost 52,000 Jobs, 700 Firms Last Year

January 12, 2010
Related Topics: Downsizing, Future Workplace, Latest News
The manufacturing industry in Illinois suffered one of its worst declines in nearly a century between November 2008 and November 2009, according to the Illinois Manufacturers Directory.

In the midst of the recession, 51,925 industrial jobs were lost and 709 manufacturing companies shut down in Illinois during the period, the directory reported Monday, January 11. That’s twice the previous year’s decline.

In Chicago, industrial jobs fell 8 percent to about 114,000.

“The country has suffered deep losses in manufacturing employment due to automation and technology, outsourcing and the recession,” said Tom Dubin, president of Manufacturers’ News, which publishes the directory.
Hardest hit were industries related to construction and housing. The furniture-fixture industry saw the sharpest drop in jobs, 12.5 percent, followed by wood products.

Machinery—the largest category, and one dominated by Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. and Moline-based Deere & Co.—saw jobs shrink 6.9 percent. Employment in fabricated metals, the second-biggest sector, fell 5.1 percent to 100,626 jobs. Food products, the No. 3 segment, saw a drop of 2.1 percent, according to the directory.

Also suffering steep drop-offs were transportation equipment, falling 9.7 percent; printing, which dropped 9.5 percent; and textiles and apparel, which slid 9.2 percent. 

Filed by John Pletz of Crain’s Chicago Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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