Joel Kotkin provides the context for the rankings: "Whether America is on the path to a sustainable industrial expansion or is just seeing a weak bounce back has been widely debated, but the recent numbers are impressive."
In fact, "[since] 2010 the U.S. has added 647,000 manufacturing jobs."
"Houston, with 255,000 manufacturing jobs, is not yet the country’s largest industrial center; it still lags behind the longtime leaders Los Angeles, with 360,000 manufacturing jobs, and Chicago, home to 314,000. But it is clearly on a stronger trajectory. Since 2008, Houston’s manufacturing workforce has expanded 5% while Los Angeles has lost 13% of its industrial jobs and Chicago’s factory workforce has shrunk 11%."
The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metro area leads the Forbes list, followed by Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin.