Southern California lost more manufacturing jobs last year, but the Los Angeles metro area remained the nation's top manufacturing center, according to a report that will be released today, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. report also found that the six Southern California counties ranked third in terms of overall industrial employment.

Between 2001 and early 2006, the San Fernando Valley lost 21,119 manufacturing jobs, employment in the South Bay held steady at 86,107, the San Gabriel Valley lost 23,219 positions and Long Beach lost 600 jobs.

Modest gains did come in north Los Angeles County with the Antelope Valley adding 198 manufacturing jobs and the Santa Clarita Valley getting an additional 169.

For all of Los Angeles County last year, manufacturing slipped 0.7 percent, or 9,400 factory jobs. Manufacturing averaged 911,000 jobs last year and remained the biggest employment sector in the county.

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