The number of jobs in the manufacturing industry in Oklahoma fell by 3,171 from July 2009 to July 2010, according to a manufacturing publication.
The 2010 Oklahoma Manufacturers Register published by Manufacturers' News Inc. also says the state lost 210 manufacturers.
"Decreased demand continues to affect Oklahoma's manufacturing sector," says Tom Dubin, president of the publishing company.
"However we're definitely seeing fewer job losses than we did a year ago, and the state's favorable business climate continues to help improve the outlook," Dubin told The Oklahoman.
The job losses were fewer than the June 2009 to June 2010 reported figure of 9,650.
Sectors that lost jobs in the latest report include housing and construction, rubber and plastics, textiles/apparel and printing/publishing. Jobs held steady in primary metals and increased in chemicals manufacturing and medical instruments.
Based on employment, the largest sectors are industrial machinery and equipment with 34,083 jobs and oil and gas extraction accounts with 30,140 jobs.
Companies shutting down include glassmaker Zeledyne LLC, which closed its Tulsa plant in March; a previously idled International Paper Co. facility that was shuttered in Valliant; and Shaw Tulsa Fabricators, which closed its pipe fabricating plant.
Bright spots for the state include the planned opening of Dorada Foods at the former Tyson Foods plant in Ponca City; the opening of gun manufacturer Loki Weapons Systems in the former Wrangler Jeans plant in Coalgate; and the opening of a Flanders Corp. plant in a former Best Buy location in Ardmore, which will manufacture air filters.
Joe Epperley, spokesman for the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, said manufacturers are hoping the worst is in the past, but remain wary of adding employees.
"Everyone remains very cautious ... and not really inclined to hire new staff even if they have more business. Right now, they are handling the increase in production with the employees they have.
"If that upturn continues, new hiring may follow. But no one is expecting a large increase in hiring anytime soon."