Yesterday the Commerce Department reported on state GDP by industry for 2009.  This report shows not only how deep but also how geographically broad the 2008-2009 recession was for manufacturing. Following a 3.6 percent decline in 2008, inflation-adjusted manufacturing GDP, called “output” from here forward, fell 5.9 percent last year. Over the past two years, the decline in manufacturing output was greater than the downturn in the overall economy in 42 of the 50 states. 

The Commerce Department categorizes the United States into eight geographical regions. Below is a brief description of how manufacturing fared in each of these regions over the past two years.

 Great Lakes: For manufacturers, the hardest-hit region of the country was around the Great Lakes, where 19 percent of U.S. manufacturing resides. Here, output declined by 17.3 percent from 2007 to 2009. Double-digit declines occurred in every state in this region (Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana) ranging from -12.5 percent in Wisconsin to -24.6 percent in Michigan, which was the largest state manufacturing decline.

Southwest: The second hardest-hit region was the Southwest (Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona), which accounts for 12 percent of U.S. manufacturing. Here, manufacturing output fell 12.7 percent, as a 15.7 percent decline in Texas output and milder 7 percent declines in New Mexico and Arizona output more than offset a 10 percent rise in Oklahoma output.

Southeast: The third hardest-hit region was the Southeast (the twelve states east of Texas and south of Maryland, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois), which accounts for 23 percent of U.S. manufacturing – more than any other region. In the Southeast, manufacturing output fell 11.4 percent. Double-digit declines in Georgia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia offset milder declines in other states and an actual increase in output in Mississippi.

Mideast: The fourth hardest-hit region was the Mideast (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Deleware), which accounts for 12 percent of U.S. manufacturing. In the Mideast, manufacturing output fell 11 percent. Double digit declines in NY, NJ, and DE, offset a softer 4.8 decline in MD.

Plains: The Plain States was the fifth hardest-hit region (South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas), which accounts for 7 percent of U.S. manufacturing. Here, output fell 10.6 percent.  Double digit output declines took place in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska and single digit declines occurred in South Dakota and Minnesota.  Manufacturing output only increased in North Dakota.

New England: In New England, the sixth hardest-hit region that accounts for 5 percent of U.S. manufacturing, output fell 8.4 percent. Double digit output declines took place in Connecticut and Rhode Island and single digit declines took place in the other states in the region except Vermont, where output rose 6.2 percent during this recessionary period.

Rock Mountains: In the Rocky Mountain region, the seventh hardest-hit region that accounts for 3 percent of U.S. manufacturing, output fell just 2.7 percent.  Here, a 21 percent output decline in Montana and milder declines in Utah, Idaho and Colorado were partially offset by a 14 percent rise in Wyoming manufacturing output during this time.

Far West: In the Far West, least hardest-hit region that accounts for 19 percent of U.S. manufacturing, output increased 7.2 percent from 2007 to 2009.  This is the only region of the country where manufacturing production did not decline. Here, declines in Washington, Oregon and Nevada were more than offset by a 12 percent increase in California and smaller increases in Hawaii and Alaska.