A recent study found four of the top 10 places to work in manufacturing were in the American South.

SmartAsset looked at 483 metropolitan areas across the country and looked at things like manufacturing employment growth, density of manufacturing jobs and even housing costs to determine the best places to work in manufacturing.

The study found the best place to work in manufacturing was in the Talladega-Sylacaugua, Alabama area. The region boasts 39 percent of its workforce being in manufacturing. The survey found the average manufacturing worker earns more than $58,000 per year after accounting for housing costs in that area.

Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina was No. 2 on the list as manufacturing employment has grown 37.5 percent from 2010 to 2015 – which is growth only bested by less than 40 metro areas in the study.

At No. 3 is the Odgen-Clearfield, Utah area. Manufacturing jobs have grown by 55 percent from 2010 to 2015 and income for manufacturing workers has grown by 31 percent over the same time.

Rockford, Illinois is No. 4 on the list with about 25 percent of the workforce in that area in manufacturing.

Rounding out the top five is Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Kentucky with 17 percent of its workforce being in manufacturing. Manufacturing jobs grew 41 percent from 2010 to 2015 – including a spurt of 7 percent from 2014 to 2015.

The rest of the top 10 include:

6. Greenville, North Carolina

7. Napa, California

8. Amarillo, Texas

9. Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin

10. Mount Vernon-Anacortes, Washington

Here are the six factors SmartAsset used in its study:

  • Manufacturing as a percent of workforce. This is what percent of all workers are employed in manufacturing. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns Survey.
  • Job growth from 2010 to 2015. This is the percent change in people employed in manufacturing from 2010 to 2015. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2010 County Business Patterns Survey and the Census Bureau’s 2015 County Business Patterns Survey.
  • Job growth from 2014 to 2015. This is the percent change in people employed in manufacturing from 2014 to 2015. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 County Business Patterns Survey and the Census Bureau’s 2015 County Business Patterns Survey.
  • Income growth from 2010 to 2015. This is the percent change in manufacturing workers’ median incomes from 2010 to 2015. Data comes from the 2010 Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns Survey and the 2015 Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns Survey.
  • Income growth from 2014 to 2015. This is the percent change in manufacturing workers’ median incomes from 2014 to 2015. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2014 County Business Patterns Survey and the Census Bureau’s 2015 County Business Patterns Survey.
  • Income after housing. Data on incomes comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 County Business Patterns Survey. Data on median housing cost comes from the Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey.

The takeaway here is that it is a great time to be in manufacturing. Whether you are on the line, an independent contractor or otherwise, this is a solid time.

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