Magazine article Economic Trends

The Metal Working Industry

Magazine article Economic Trends

The Metal Working Industry

Article excerpt

02.15.07

Metal working has long been an important industry in the Fourth District. The first blast furnace west of the Allegheny Mountains opened in 1802 near Youngstown, and by 1880, 28 percent of Cleveland's workforce found employment in its steel mills. Although the industry has undergone substantial restructuring and lost some of its importance over the years, it maintains a significant economic presence in the District.

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Most of the District's primary metals industry is located in Ohio and Pennsylvania. As recently as 1995, the industry employed 66,600 in Ohio, but according to the most recent Census of Manufacturing, employment had fallen to 38,483 by 2005, a drop of over 42 percent. Pennsylvania's employment in the industry fared slightly better, dropping from 55,600 in 1995 to 34,522 in 2005, a little less than a 38 percent drop.

Despite plunging employment, the value of shipments has held up better, thanks to productivity gains and a sharp rise in prices that began at the outset of 2004. …

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