Rock County area ranks as a leader in manufacturing

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ROCK COUNTY - The Beloit-Janesville area ranks as one of the best places to work in manufacturing, according to financial technology company SmartAsset.

In SmartAsset's "Best Places to Work in Manufacturing" 2019 edition, the Beloit-Janesville area ranked at number 15 on the list, with Rockford coming in at number 9. There were 25 communities on the list of Best Places to Work in Manufacturing.

The Beloit-Janesville area sees an average of just over 18% of its local workforce employed in the manufacturing sector, according to market analysis data provided by SmartAsset.

From 2018 to 2019, the area saw a 7.7% increase in manufacturing job sector growth, according to the study.

Rock County Development Alliance Economic Development Director James Otterstein said Rock County has seen extensive growth since 2010.

Since 2010, Rock County has seen over 150 development projects, with 45% of those projects coming from the manufacturing sector, Otterstein said.

"The overall strength of the manufacturing sector has continued to increase county-wide since the recession," Otterstein said. "The reality is that this activity continues to grow exponentially and speaks to the value of our marketplace and the strength of our assets."

Statewide, manufacturers in Wisconsin account for 18.79% of the total output in the state, employing 15.99% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $63.31 billion in 2018. In addition, there were an average of 475,000 manufacturing employees in Wisconsin in 2018, with an average annual compensation of $71,226.21 in 2017, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Nationwide, there are 12.85 million manufacturing jobs in the United States, which makes up 8.5% of the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nation has lost over 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, due to factors including automation and foreign trade.

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