Change in Manufacturing Jobs by County 1975-2015 [USA]

Watch 40 years of change in manufacturing jobs across the United States from 1975 to 2015. The colors are based on the number of manufacturing jobs in each county as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Labor Estimates. Each year (1985, 1995, 2005, and 2015) are compared to 1975 to calculate the percentage change. Green counties have gains in manufacturing jobs.  Red counties have losses.  Counties that are gray have little to no change.

Overall, these 15 counties have seen the largest losses.  Most of these counties were former industrial powerhouses who had distinct advantages in transportation, infrastructure, and energy availability. Those advantages have been rendered obsolete.  Rapid automation and infrastructure improvements in transportation, energy, and communications across the rest of nation have enabled production to spread across the United States as well as overseas.

Top 15 Counties by Largest Losses in Manufacturing Jobs

County 2015 1975 Net Loss
Cook County, Illinois 186,967 666,136 -479,169
Los Angeles County, California 357,554 777,465 -419,911
New York County, New York 27,098 293,745 -266,647
Wayne County, Michigan 88,578 325,077 -236,499
Cuyahoga County, Ohio 69,812 224,160 -154,348
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania 21,473 164,885 -143,412
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 36,150 159,353 -123,203
Milwaukee County, Wisconsin 52,495 154,937 -102,442
Kings County, New York 21,174 119,640 -98,466
Hamilton County, Ohio 48,357 134,527 -86,170
Monroe County, New York 40,872 125,510 -84,638
St. Louis City Missouri 17,871 194,998 -77,127
Fairfield County, Connecticut 33,938 108,405 -74,467
Bergen County, New Jersey 30,947 103,631 -72,684
Essex County, New Jersey 16,990 89,462 -72,472

Almost all of these counties are located in the Rust Belt with the exclusion of Los Angeles, County.  Although many of these counties have successfully shifted to new industries in tech and finance, others such as Wayne County have been struggling.

On the other side, counties which have seen the largest increases have not seen increases as large as the decreases in the top 15 counties. Cook County alone had 666k manufacturing jobs in 1975 compared to these counties which had 927k manufacturing job combined in 2015.

Top 15 Counties by Largest Gains in Manufacturing Jobs

County 2015 1975 Net Change
Maricopa County, Arizona 115,385 71,973 43,412
Snohomish County, Washington 63,537 20,588 42,949
San Diego County, California 104,092 71,087 33,005
Elkhart County, Indiana 60,478 31,269 29,209
Harris County, Texas 189,946 161,511 28,435
Washington County, Oregon 47,167 19,747 27,420
Travis County, Texas 40,252 14,568 25,684
Riverside County, California 41,210 18,907 22,303
Ottawa County, Michigan 38,358 17,732 20,626
San Bernardino County, California 53,485 32,871 20,614
Collin County, Texas 23,618 3,705 19,913
Rutherford County, Tennessee 25,301 5,989 19,312
Waukesha County, Wisconsin 43,850 24,896 18,954
Gwinnett County, Georgia 25,246 6,328 18,918
DuPage County, Illinois 55,273 36,416 18,857

Note: Some counties have been excluded from the summary tables due to missing data on some of the reported years.

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