Automotive industry’s fall dilutes manufacturing jobs

The fact that Indiana is shedding manufacturing jobs is well-known, but you can thank a neighbor to the north for keeping track of every last one.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported recently that Wisconsin had taken the top spot, ahead of Indiana, in terms of the portion of employment in manufacturing—15.6 percent, versus Hoosiers’ 15.4 percent.

That’s according to preliminary May data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both states shed manufacturing jobs over the past year, but Indiana lost them at a faster rate. In May 2008, 17.8 percent of Hoosiers worked in manufacturing, compared with 17 percent in the land of cheese.

As the Journal-Sentinel reported, Indiana’s slipping status has much to do with the automotive sector’s dominance here. Wisconsin’s manufacturing base is more diverse.

What about auto-centric Michigan? Manufacturing accounted for 11.6 percent of jobs, down from 13.7 percent in May 2008.

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