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Survey picks Houston No. 1 for manufacturing

Houston is the top city in the United States for number of manufacturing plants and jobs, according to the 2009 Texas Manufacturers Register.

The guide, published annually by Manufacturers’ News Inc. of Evanston, Ill., says that Houston boasts 221,697 manufacturing employees and 3,957 manufacturers. And in the face of a tightening economy, the report suggests that Houston’s employment rate in the manufacturing sector has not changed in the past year.

“Houston’s combination of low-cost living, favorable business climate, educated work force and proximity to the oil industry have made it the choice of many manufacturers and other Fortune 500 companies,” said Tom Dubin, president of MNI.

Industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing is Houston’s top sector, accounting for 58,716 of the city’s manufacturing jobs – or 27 percent, with virtually no changes since last April. Oil and gas extraction ranks second with 30,584 jobs, up 7.8 percent over the year, while third-ranked fabricated metals account for 28,903, down 5.4 percent, according to the report.

Some 23,589 manufacturers call Texas home, employing more than 1.2 million workers.

New York, Chicago, Cincinnati and Los Angeles, respectively, rounded out the top five nationwide. Dallas was sixth on the list.

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