N.H. manufacturing jobs drop 2.5 percent

New Hampshire had the second-largest decrease in manufacturing jobs among the six New England states in 2006, according to a recently released manufacturing directory.

The number of manufacturing jobs in New Hampshire fell by 2.5 percent in 2006, the 2007 New Hampshire Manufacturers Register reports.

The directory – which is published by Manufacturers News Inc. of Evanston, Ill. – found that New Hampshire lost 2,545 jobs from October 2005 to October 2006. A total of 27,588 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the state since January 2000, the report said.

Rhode Island ranked first in the region, with a loss of 3,081 manufacturing jobs. or 3.9 percent, while Maine, Connecticut and Vermont saw manufacturing jobs decrease by less than a percent.

Massachusetts was the only New England state where an increase in manufacturing jobs was reported.

MNI’s president, Thomas Dubin, said a number of factors have contributed to the decline of industrial jobs in New Hampshire.

“Outsourcing, mergers and consolidation contributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs, as well as automated manufacturing processes that require fewer workers,” Dubin said, adding that job growth has occurred in most other job sectors.

Despite the decline in manufacturing jobs, New Hampshire ranks third in New England for industrial employment, with 3,211 manufacturing companies employing 96,465 people.

The largest number of industrial jobs is found in Manchester, although the Queen City had the largest drop in 2006, 3.9 percent.

Laconia, however, saw a 7 percent increase in industrial jobs with sector employment increasing by 4.8 percent in Dover and 2.4 percent in Rochester.

According to MNI, the electronic components industry and the printed circuit board industry are New Hampshire’s largest manufacturing sectors.

In New England, Massachusetts ranked highest in industrial employment, with 419,761 jobs. Connecticut ranked second, with 241,811 industrial jobs and Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont ranked fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. – TRACIE STONE

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