Manufacturing firms are leading a modest economic recovery nationwide, with 56 percent expecting to add jobs in the next year, according to tax and consulting services firm RSM McGladrey Inc.
Karen Kurek, leader of McGladrey's national manufacturing practice, presented results of its quarterly manufacturing survey during an industry update hosted Wednesday by Maumee accounting and consulting firm Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler Ltd.
Manufacturing output grew by 9 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 1.8 percent growth for the gross domestic product, she said.
Meanwhile, one out of every six new jobs, or about 250,000 positions, have been created in the manufacturing sector this year.
"Manufacturing in the United States has done very well," she told about 100 attendees at The Pinnacle conference center in Maumee. "In fact, it has been leading the economy out of the recession that we've been in and leading it into the recovery."
The survey, conducted in March, included responses from more than 900 manufacturing executives in 45 states.
About 45 percent of survey respondents said their businesses are "growing and thriving," compared to 24 percent a year ago.
About 3 percent of manufacturing firms said their businesses are declining, compared with 10 percent last year.
Strong performance is reported in such sectors as industrial machinery, clean energy, fabricated metal, and computers and electronics, Ms. Kurek said.
Eileen Granata, regional economic development director with the Ohio Department of Development, encouraged manufacturing firms to contact state and local economic development officials about incentives that can help them grow.