The valve industry employs 50 percent more people than a decade ago and is expecting to add more this year, reported the Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA), Washington, D.C.

During a briefing at its annual meeting, VMA shared its "Employment Snapshot Report," member research about industry employment and trends affecting the economic outlook of the valve industry.

“Valve manufacturers are the backbone for many other industries and a bellwether for the economy. It’s great news that so many of our members are increasing their workforces. That means other industries are working too,” says VMA Chairman Mark Cordell, president of Distributed Valves for Cameron Valves & Measurement.

More than half of responding member companies reported their domestic hiring was growing up to 5 percent this year. Nearly one-fifth expected growth up to 10 percent and another fifth is planning to grow their ranks up to 16 percent. Only 3 percent of valve manufacturers did not expect any growth.

These workforce figures are consistent with the increase in shipments that members anticipated, as reported in VMA’s market forecast released earlier. The forecast report predicted that shipments for the U.S. industrial valve industry would grow 3 percent in 2013, increasing to nearly $4.3 billion. The increase would mark the fourth consecutive year of growth following the recession, exceeding the industry’s previous 10-year peak in 2008.