EVANSTON, Ill., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Industrial employment in Idaho increased 1.5% over the past year, according to the 2013 Idaho Manufacturers Directory ®, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. MNI reports Idaho gained 1,096 manufacturing jobs from October 2011 to October 2012, the first gain the industrial publisher has recorded for the state since 2006. Manufacturers' News reports Idaho is now home to 2,152 manufacturers employing 73,920 workers. " Idaho continues to see its manufacturing sector improve," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "Its educated workforce and low business costs have made it easier for manufacturers to expand." Bright spots for the state the included the opening of Chobani's $450 million yogurt-manufacturing plant in Twin Falls; Cives Steel Company's plans to open a steel fabrication factory in Idaho Falls; and the opening of a Southwark metal ductwork plant in Caldwell. In addition, several manufacturers operating in Idaho have announced expansions, including Precision Machining in Nampa; Lactalis American Group, also in Nampa; Schweitzer Engineering in Lewiston; and ATCO Structures and Logistics in Pocatello. Losses for the state included layoffs at Lewiston's Clearwater Paper lumber mill after it was purchased by Idaho Forest Group. MNI reports industrial machinery and equipment remains Idaho's largest industrial sector by employment with 15,331 jobs, down 1.7% over the year. Food products manufacturing ranks second and accounts for 14,883 jobs, down 3.3%. Third-ranked lumber/wood represents 8,808 of the state's jobs, up 2.4% over the past twelve months. Most other industrial sectors gained jobs over the year including textiles/apparel, up 5.5%; primary metals, up 5%; fabricated metals, up 4.7%; paper products, up 4.3%; instruments/related products, up 3.2%; furniture/fixtures, up 3%; chemicals, up 2.9%; transportation equipment, up 1.7%; and stone/clay/glass, up 1.1%. Losses were seen in printing/publishing, down 5.4% and electronics, down 1.3%.