Boston has always been a hub of manufacturing activity but in recent years while many other areas in the country have begun to see growth Boston has been on the decline. A recent report of the country’s 107 largest metropolitan areas found that between 2011-2016 they saw a 4% increase in manufacturing jobs. This works out to roughly 280,000 new jobs created. These same 107 regions had previously been on the decline with a loss of about 1 million positions between 2006-2016. However during this recent 5 year run of job increase Boston has not experienced the same growth in fact the Boston area experienced another 2% decline in manufacturing jobs during this window. This means that of the 107 metro areas studied 80% are doing better with manufacturing job growth than Boston, 189,100 area jobs were lost last year alone. While Boston did just barely remain on the list of top 10 metro areas in terms of total number of manufacturing jobs that will not be the case soon if this trend isn’t reversed. Many local companies CEOs traveled to Washington recently to meet with President Trump to discuss trade and job creation for the Boston area but it remains to be seen what, if any, changes will result from these discussions.
Curious about where all of the growth is happening? In terms of percentage of job growth Louisville, Kentucky topped the list with hiring increasing by 27.2% over 5 years. They are followed by the greater Nashville, Tennessee area with a 27% increase and the Daytona Beach area of Florida with a 25.3% increase. With regards to the actual number of jobs created Detroit, Michigan saw the largest increase with 37,500 new manufacturing jobs added in the 2011-2016 window. They were followed by another Michigan city, Grand Rapids, which added 21,000 new jobs. Third on the list is Nashville, TN with 18,300 new manufacturing jobs created.
Bostonians will watch anxiously to see if the trend can be reversed as many major corporations attempt to work with both local and national politicians on a plan forward.