State adds manufacturing jobs for second year in a row

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Indiana added 8,020 manufacturing jobs in the 12-month span ending April 2013, marking the second straight year the Hoosier state has added manufacturing jobs, a research firm has found.

"Indiana is doing better than the nation as a whole," said Tom Dubin, president and chief executive officer of Evanston, Ill.-based Manufacturer's News, told The Times of Munster.

"Industrial employment in other states grew by about 0.5 percent, but Indiana gained more than 8,000 jobs, " or 1.4 percent, Dubin said. "The transportation industry in Indiana is especially strong, with Toyota, Subaru and automotive suppliers bouncing back from the economic downturn."

Nearly 9,700 manufacturers operate in Indiana, employing 556,367 workers, Manufacturing News estimates.

Indiana Manufacturers Association President Patrick Kiely says Indiana has added 64,000 manufacturing jobs since the industry bottomed out in June 2009.

But not all the new is great. Northwest Indiana has 88,945 industrial jobs, which is down 0.5 percent from last year. Kiely blamed the slight drop largely on the steel industry's recent struggles. Shipments to automakers are up, but steelmakers haven't been getting as many orders for construction and face trying economic conditions globally, Kiely said.

Dubin says Indiana remains attractive to manufacturers.

"It's centrally located, and manufacturers need transportation hubs to ship their products all over the world," he said. "They need to have access to highways, freightways and waterways."

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