Southern California is Nation’s Largest Manufacturing Economy, Says LAEDC Report

LAEDC report also shows L.A. County tops in manufacturing, employing 389,300 workers

Los Angeles Southern California is the nation’s largest manufacturing economy, according to a report issued today by theLos Angeles County Economic Development Corporation(LAEDC). The 2011 “Manufacturing: Still a Force inSouthern Californiareport dispels the myths that manufacturing in the region is disappearing and that all manufacturing is moving to low-cost countries.

Nationally, the U.S. is the world’s largest manufacturing economy, producing 21 percent of the global manufactured products in 2009.  U.S. manufacturing generated $1.6 trillion worth of output, which represented 11 percent of the U.S.’ total GDP.  Productivity in the manufacturing sector is also very high with manufacturing jobs often paying premium wages and benefits.

Industrial restructuring has intensified, making U.S. manufacturing more competitive than ever,” said LAEDC’s Chief Economist and report author Nancy D. Sidhu, Ph.D.  “The U.S.share of global manufacturing has remained at or above 20 percent for most of the past two decades.”

Locally, in Los Angeles County, the manufacturing sector employed 389,300 people in 2009, while the value of manufacturing shipments in the County was $153 billion in 2007 (latest data available).  Manufacturing is a “high-multiplier” activity, supporting many local area businesses and jobs in supplier industries such as energy, freight transportation, and business and professional services.

The top five industries in L.A. County (measured by dollar revenues in 2007) were: Petroleum Refining, Computer and Electronic ProductsFood Products, Aerospace and Fabricated Metal Products.  Of the manufacturing employment in the County, 56 percent of the workers produced durable goods such as computers, transportation equipment and metal products, while the other 44 percent produced nondurable goods such as apparel and food.

The largest manufacturing sector in the County (measured by employment in 2009) is Computer and Electronic Products with 51,323 jobs. The apparel sector had the second highest number of employees, with 48,107 jobs.  However, the sectors suffering the largest employment declines over the past decade were Computers and Peripherals, Furniture and Textile Product Mills.

For the full story and to download the 2011 LAEDC Manufacturing study visit:

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