Not everything is hot in Florida.
The Sunshine State lost 1,613 manufacturing jobs between March 2012 and March 2013, according to Manufacturers' News Inc.
Florida ranks 12th in the nation for manufacturing employment, with 465,876 factory workers, according to Manufacturers' News.
"Florida manufacturing was greatly affected by the housing collapse, which is still depressing employment in the furniture and lumber industries," said Tom Dubin, president of Evanston, Ill.-based Manufacturers News, which publishes industrial directories and databases.
The state's furniture and fixtures sector reported a 10.5 percent drop in employment over the past year, while the state's lumber and wood sector reported a nearly 5 percent drop.
Still, Dubin said the state's "educated workforce, access to capital, and prime location for the shipment of goods" make it a magnet for "a variety of high-tech and innovative manufacturers."
A new law exempting manufacturers from paying sales tax on equipment purchases for three years should buoy the state's manufacturing sector as well, Dubin added.
Manufacturers News noted that several high-tech manufacturers have announced plant openings and expansions in Florida, including:
- Aerospace-parts maker TurboCombustor Technology, which added a new facility to its existing campus in Martin County.
- Nanotherapeutics, which will open a biopharmaceutical plant in Alachua to fulfill a new Department of Defense contract.
- Actavis, which plans to expand its pharmaceutical plant in Davie.
Other firms opening facilities include Drinkable Air, Mid-Atlantic Vinyl Products and ITT Exelis.
Electronics Sector Leads the Way
Electronics remains Florida's largest manufacturing sector, with 50,412 jobs, up less than 1 percent over the survey period.
Second-ranked fabricated metals accounts for 43,522 manufacturing jobs, down a half percent, according to Manufacturers' News.
Employment in food-products manufacturing declined 1.6 percent, due partially to the closure of two Hostess plants. The food-products sector accounts for 43,357 jobs.
With 14,040 manufacturers, Florida ranks third in the Southeast for manufacturing employment, according to Manufacturers' News.