Factory engineer who operates hydraulic pipe bendersMonkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Smartest Dollar.

US manufacturing employment has been declining since its peak in 1979 and accelerated sharply around the turn of the century. Despite modest increases since 2010, the number of manufacturing jobs remains well below previous levels.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, only 8.5% of workers were employed in the manufacturing sector in 2019, totaling fewer than 13 million jobs.

The share of manufacturing employment varies significantly between cities and states – some parts of the country are much more dependent on manufacturing work than others.

To find the metropolitan areas with the most manufacturing jobs, Smartest Dollar researchers used employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The researchers classified the metropolitan areas according to the proportion of workers employed in manufacturing. The researchers also examined the percentage change in total manufacturing orders since 1999 and the total number of manufacturing orders in 2019 and 1999.

In order to improve the relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included in the analysis.

Here are the large metropolitan areas with the largest proportion of workers employed in the manufacturing sector.

15. Seattle

Seattle, WashingtonSean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 8.8%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -19.1% (43,700 lost jobs in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 184,700
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 228,400

14. Chicago

Chicago, Illinoisf11photo / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 8.8%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -35.3% (229,100 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 419,500
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 648,600

13. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North CarolinaKevin M. McCarthy / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 9.0%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -29.3% (46,000 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 111,200
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 157,200

12. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New YorkAtomazul / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 9.3%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -37.1% (30,900 lost jobs in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 52,400
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 83,300

11. Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesotanikitsin.smugmug.com / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 9.9%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -17.0% (41,200 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 200,700
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 241,900

10. Hartford, Connecticut

The Hartford Connecticut skyline, where average rents are relatively lowSean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 10.4%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -21.0% (a total of 16,100 jobs lost)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 60,400
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 76,500

9. Rochester, New York

Rochester, New YorkSirichai netthong / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 10.5%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -47.5% (51,100 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 56,500
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 107,600

8. Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon waterfrontJosemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 10.6%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -8.9% (a total of 12,700 lost jobs)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 129,300
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 142,000

7. Cincinnati

Cincinnati Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 10.8%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -18.8% (27,900 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 120,600
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 148,500

6. Cleveland

Cleveland, OhioPedro Gutierrez / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 11.4%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -37.2% (73,000 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 123,500
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 196,500

5. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentuckyf11photo / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 12.3%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -12.7% (a total of 12,100 jobs lost)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 83,000
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 95,100

4. Detroit

Detroit, MichiganHarold Stiver / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 12.6%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -30.6% (113,900 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 257,900
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 371,800

3. Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsinf11photo / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 13.7%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -28.4% (47,500 lost jobs in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 120,000
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 167,500

2. San Jose, California

The San Jose skyline, which has a lower median rent than the average mortgage paymentstellamc / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 15.1%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -26.6% (62,700 jobs lost in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 173,000
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 235,700

1. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, MichiganHenryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

  • Share of employment in manufacturing: 21.0%
  • Change in total production orders since 1999: -9.0% (11,800 lost jobs in total)
  • Total number of production orders in 2019: 119,000
  • Total number of production orders in 1999: 130,800

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