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Revenue losses were felt throughout the sector as companies lost orders and laid off workers, said Roy Peters, president of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance. "We've lost some firms,” he said. "I don't think we've lost a lot of companies totally, but we, of course, have lost a lot of employment.” Peters said employment has dropped from about 153,000 workers two years ago to 123,000 now among the state's 4,200 manufacturing companies. But signs of improvement are emerging, he said. "They are beginning to see more overtime, which is a super signal that things are getting better,” Peters said. "We are hearing that the temp agencies are getting more orders for manufacturing orders and that companies are hiring back in small numbers.” Still, it will take years to recover from the recession. Companies were forced to become more efficient, and may keep their workforces lean. According to the 2010 Manufacturers Register, sectors that lost jobs last year include housing and construction, rubber and plastic, textiles/apparel and printing/publishing.
Manufacturers took hit in past year
Some state manufacturing firms are hiring but recovery is slow.
No manufacturers made it onto the list of the state's 10-best performing companies this year, and two companies that placed high last year fell considerably in rankings.
Program lures manufacturersThe state's Quality Jobs incentive program has helped lure some new manufacturers to Oklahoma. Since July 1, five companies have pledged job growth tied to the program, which rebates up to five percent of new payroll to qualifying companies.
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