A statewide survey finds Iowa saw 327 new factories sprung up last year along with nearly 78-hundred jobs. Tom Dubbin, president of the research and publishing firm Manufacturers’ News, says Iowa’s healthy gains during 2005 were in contrast to many other Midwestern states that saw jobs go overseas.
Dubbin says part of the reason Iowa’s doing better is that Iowa’s top industries are: industrial machinery and equipment, printing and publishing, and lumber and wood. He says “You can’t outsource a forest for lumber and wood, and a lot of printing and publishing jobs tend to be done by local printers for neighborhood jobs, again, something that you wouldn’t go to China for.”
Dubbin singles out four Iowa cities that saw nearly four-dozen new manufacturing plants appear last year. He says Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Sioux City gained 46 plants over the past year. Those cities account for 15-percent of Iowa’s manufacturing and are among the state’s biggest population centers which is why the amounts are so high.
While Iowa saw a gain last year of nearly 78-hundred manufacturing jobs, the states of Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan lost a combined 42-thousand manufacturing jobs. Overall, Dubbin says the past five years have brought Iowa a net loss of four-thousand-940 manufacturing jobs.
Dubbin explains how the numbers are derived.
He says his company has more than 100 employees who contact every single manufacturer in the state every year, keeping a close look-out for any new ones that may be opening. They ask how many employees they have and how that may have changed over the previous year, while discovering some factories that have closed.
The latest survey reports Iowa is home to six-thousand-488 manufacturing companies employing 298-thousand-371 workers. That’s compared to the six-thousand-161 plants and 290-thousand-572 jobs reported a year earlier. Dubbin’s company, based in Evanston, Illinois, publishes the Iowa Manufacturers Register, an annual industrial guide. For more information, surf to “www.mnileads.com”.