Iowa gained 2,487 manufacturing jobs in 2013, marking the second-straight year that the Hawkeye State has enjoyed a net gain in industrial employment.
The state's manufacturing workforce grew by about 1 percent last year, according to data from Manufacturers' News Inc., which publishes industrial directories and databases.
Iowa now has 5,421 manufacturers employing 264,440 workers, according to Manufacturers' News.
Iowa's top manufacturing sector – food products – posted an employment gain of less than 1 percent in 2013. The sector employs 57,661 people.
Meanwhile, the state's second-ranked sector – industrial machinery and equipment – posted a 9.5 percent gain last year. The sector employs 47,257 people.
Among other sectors, instruments and related products posted an 11 percent gain in employment, while transportation equipment registered a 4 percent gain.
Employment in the textiles/apparel sector dropped by 2.1 percent.
State Says Goodbye to Hostess, Hello to a Fertilizer Plant
Several manufacturers announced plans to expand or build facilities in Iowa last year.
In November, Iowa Fertilizer Co., a subsidiary of Cairo-based Orascom Construction Industries, broke ground on a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in the southeastern part of the state. Iowa economic development officials say the project in Lee County will create 165 full-time jobs as well as several thousand temporary construction jobs.
In March 2012, Alcoa Inc. broke ground on a $300 million expansion of its Davenport Works facility, which produces aluminum sheet and plate for the automotive and aerospace industries.
The expansion will add 150 new jobs to the facility's workforce of 2,000-plus people, according to Alcoa.
There were a few high-profile plant closures as well.
In November, Hostess Brands Inc. closed its factory in Waterloo, Iowa, eliminating 80 jobs. The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs liquidated the company after filing for bankruptcy earlier in 2012.