The state’s leading industry is the production of chemicals, in which New Jersey leads the nation. About one-sixth of all drugs manufactured in the United States come from New Jersey, which has been called “the nation’s medicine chest.” The chemical industry also produces cleansers and industrial organic chemicals in quantity. Other leading manufacturers are printers and publishers, especially those producing commercial advertising, books, and newspapers; food processors, making such things as brewed beverages, pastas, canned vegetables and soups, and confections; refiners of petroleum; makers of instruments, including navigation equipment, surgical appliances, and photographic equipment and supplies; the makers of industrial machinery, such as heating and refrigeration equipment and pumps; manufacturers of electronic and electrical equipment, such as telephones, radio and television communications equipment, and semiconductors; and fabricators of metal components, including parts for other industries such as stamped metal, sheet metal, and industrial valves.
Broadly speaking, manufacturing is concentrated in two parts of the state. The larger area is found in the northeast, where Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Essex, and Union counties are tied to the port of New York. A second and smaller concentration hugs the Delaware from Trenton to Camden and is tied to Philadelphia. Since the 1950s industry has moved into suburban and rural areas, especially Morris, Somerset, and Monmouth counties in the northeast, and Gloucester and Burlington counties in the south.
The chemical industry, which makes items ranging from cosmetics and soap to heavy bulk chemicals, as well as pharmaceuticals, is concentrated in Passaic, Essex, and Middlesex counties, particularly in the Raritan River Valley and along the Arthur Kill Channel.
A major segment of the industry is also found in Salem County, along the Delaware River. Newark, Camden, Clifton, New Brunswick, and Trenton are all drug manufacturing centers.
Petroleum refining, which services the vast urban markets of New York City and Philadelphia, is carried on along the Arthur Kill in northern New Jersey and along the Delaware in the southwestern part of the state. A large refinery was built during the 1960s at Deepwater on the Delaware River. The crude oil arrives at the refineries by tanker from overseas, and pipelines carry a large quantity of refined petroleum products to consumers. Electrical machinery, of all types, is made in various parts of the state. Hudson, Bergen, Essex, Passaic, and Mercer are the leading counties in electrical goods manufacturing.
Food processing is declining in southern New Jersey, where much of the vegetable crop now is sold fresh, including “pick your own,” rather than frozen or canned for market. Beer is brewed in and around Newark.
Automobile assembly plants are located in Union and Middlesex counties, and aircraft parts and engines are manufactured in Bergen County. The older industrial cities on the fringe of New York City are the principal centers for the production of machinery and fabricated metals. The apparel industry is centered principally in Hudson and Passaic counties as a spillover from New York City’s garment center. The reduction of nonferrous metals is centered around Newark and Raritan bays. Structural brick is made in great quantities from the clay deposits along the Raritan River, while better-grade clay products, such as porcelain fixtures, are made near Trenton. The manufacture of fine china is centered in Pomona, near Atlantic City. The glass industry in Cumberland County supplies containers for the food processing, brewing, and pharmaceutical industries. "New Jersey" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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