An Overview: Steel in The United States
Indiana’s steel industry traces its roots back to the rise of the automotive industry. For many years, plants in Gary helped produce some materials used by Detroit, Michigan’s leading car companies. The state continues to remain a center for steel manufacturing.
Since 1980, Indiana has led the nation every year in terms of the volume of steel generated by its plants. With roughly 26,000 workers employed in Indiana steel facilities, the industry remains important to Indiana’s economy.
North Carolina does not produce huge quantities of steel, yet the state enjoys a strong steel industry. Charlotte serves as the headquarters for Nucor, the largest steel producer in the United States. Nucor also enjoys the distinction of recycling more steel than any other U. S. firm and it operates some 23 scrap-based steel production mills.
In 2013, Nucor earned $488 million and made slightly over $19 billion dollars in sales. The firm owns plants and sales facilities located in several other states, including Texas and Indiana.
In recent years, Texas has grown in importance as a steel-producing center in the South. Steel mills and sales offices located in the Lone Star State employ some 59,800 workers, making it the state with the most steel industry workers. Texas also supports a strong oil and gas sector, and these firms consume some of the pipes produced by local steel manufacturing facilities.
At one time, Pennsylvania functioned as a stronghold of steel barons. Although this state’s economy no longer revolves around steel production to the same extent, steel still remains important. For instance, some 35,300 people currently work in the steel industry in Pennsylvania. The world’s 15th largest steel producer, U.S. Steel, still maintains corporate offices in Pittsburgh. J.P. Morgan and Elbert H. Gary founded the company in 1901 by consolidating several smaller steel production firms, including Carnegie Steel Company.
U. S. Steel produced 67% of all of the steel manufactured within the United States during the first few years of the Twentieth Century. It still accounts for 8% of all domestic consumption today. Pennsylvania’s steel capacity has declined in recent years, with the bankruptcy of Bethlehem Steel in 2001 and the closure of JMC Steel Group in 2012. However, Olympic Steel opened a facility in Chambersburg in 1998. The company began producing steel in 1956 and now operates a number of plants in the Eastern United States.
As the state with the second-highest number of industry workers, California deserves mention on any listing of places with a strong steel sector. Some 52,300 employees work in manufacturing or sales in the state. With recycling centers and scrap yards, plus an active oil and gas industry, the Golden State maintains one of the stronger steel production economies.