The major factors for Mobile's economy are medicine and research, retail trade, aerospace, construction and manufacturing. A variety of goods are produced in Mobile such as engines, aircraft, wood pulp and paper, chemicals, paint, aluminum, cement, pumps, rayon fibers and ship-related items. Some of the major sectors for employment are: trade, transportation and utilities; education, healthcare, manufacturing, government, professional and business services, construction and mining as well as leisure and hospitality.
The thriving Port of Mobile is very important to the economy. It's served by a vast number of steamship lines and includes two large ship repair companies and ship building firms such as Austal USA. Over 300 businesses are involved in the area's maritime industry. The Brookley Complex is a prominent trade and industrial center and is designated as a Foreign Trade Zone. The complex is home to over 100 companies including numerous aerospace firms. Mobile Aerospace Engineering, a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Engineering, is one of the largest private employers in Mobile County.
Thyssen Krupp is building a state-of-the-art steel and stainless steel processing facility which is slated to begin operations in 2010 and employ about 2,700 people. Mobile is also home to numerous hi-tech and computer related businesses. The automotive industry also provides jobs. In addition, EADS North America provides a large number of engineering jobs involved with designing Airbus's long-range jets.
The median earnings in early 2009 was $30,000. The cost of living index in 2008 was 84.1 which is less than the nation's average of 100. Also, about 16% of the residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor's degree and approximately 10% have a graduate degree.
Alabama has created a progressive state business environment. The chamber of commerce reports that both state and local incentives are provided to help companies lower their initial capital costs. The city also helps companies develop a labor force. Long term taxes have also been reduced. Alabama's effective Industrial Development Training Program helps local companies in a variety of ways including training and providing employees. In Mobile, the Center for Workforce Development has been operating and helping businesses since the year 2000. One of the center's primary goals is to improve the quality of Mobile's workforce. Companies are attracted to Mobile due to the highly skilled workforce, good tax practices, power rates and transportation logistics.
Shown below are the major employers in non-manufacturing sectors in the Mobile area:
- Mobile County School System
- Mobile Infirmary Medical Center
- Providence Hospital
- University of South Alabama & USA Health System
- City of Mobile
- Mobile County
- Springhill Medical Center
- Regions Bank
The largest manufacturers in Mobile:
- ST Mobile Aerospace and Engineering - Aircraft, refurbishing
- Austal USA - Ship building
- Atlantic Marine Alabama - Ship repair
- Bender Shipbuilding & Repair - Ship building and repair
- Kimberly Clark - Paper products
- Evonik Degussa - Chemicals
- CPSI - Software
- Teledyne Continental Motors - Aircraft piston engines
- SSAB Alabama - Steel mill
- Barnett Millworks - Wood products
- Coca-Cola Bottling Company - Soft drinks
- Olin - Chemicals
- Masland Carpets - Carpet manufacturer
- Gulf Lumber Company - Wood products
- Shell Chemical LP/Shell Mobile site - Petroleum refining
- Armstrong World Industries - Tile
- Arkema - Chemicals
- Tate & Lyle Sucralose - Sucralose
- Holcim - Dry Cement
Mobile has received numerous rankings and favorable comments from prominent sources including:
- Southern Business & Development - Ranked #7 in their best places list for locating companies in mid-markets
- Southern Business & Development - Thyssen Krupp steel processing facility ranked #2 on the top 100 projects for jobs
- Forbes.com - Ever since the Australian ship builder, Austal began operations in Mobile the area has bloomed as a manufacturing center
- Site Selection - Recognized the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce as one of the top economic development groups.
- Expansion Magazine - Included in their list of "America's Hottest Cities"
- Entrepreneur.com - Ranked Mobile #1 on their list of "Hot Cities For Entrepreneurs"
Some of the major business related organizations associated with Mobile:
The Mobile Bay Business Journal Online provides current information regarding the business activities in the Mobile area.