May 9, 2012 | last updated May 10, 2012 11:05 am

Worcester Leads N.E. In Manufacturing Concentration

The Worcester area has the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in New England, according to a report released today by The Brookings Institution.

The report, "Locating American Manufacturing: Trends in the Geography of Production," ranked the Worcester area 15th in 2010 among the nation's metropolitan areas for percentage of manufacturing jobs as part of the region's employment mix, with 10.9 percent. Worcester was the highest-ranked New England metro area, ahead of Hartford, Conn., which ranked 19th nationally (10.5 percent).

Among its findings, the report said metropolitan areas, especially large areas and central metropolitan counties, contain the great majority of manufacturing jobs and all very high-technology manufacturing jobs. But despite that, jobs are moving away from those higher-population areas.

The report also said the long-term shift of manufacturing jobs toward the South came to a halt between 2000 and 2010, while the Midwestern United States had the fastest manufacturing job gains in 2010 and 2011. Between 2000 and 2010 both the Midwest and the South lost about 34 percent of their manufacturing jobs, while between the first quarter of 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2011 the Midwest saw a job gain of 5.2 percent; the South saw a gain of 2.2 percent.

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