In the brutal six-year war to stem the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs, most states have suffered heavy casualties. From an all-time high in 1979, manufacturing employment had lost 1.7 million jobs by this year. Illinois was the biggest loser, with 324,000 manufacturing jobs disappearing.

Some states, however, resisted the bleakest period for manufacturing since the Great Depression. Thirteen states actually gained production jobs. The gains came in some of the same industries that were declining elsewhere: electronics, machinery, and transportation equipment. Increases also occurred in printing and publishing, high technology, and defense.

Typical of the gainers was Georgia, with a jump of more than 20,000 jobs. Employment rose among automobile and aircraft makers, including General Motors, Ford Motor, and Lockheed. William Kahley, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, says that Georgia manufacturers have been buoyed by cheaper labor, energy, and materials, combined with good distribution channels. Kahley adds that Georgia's modern industrial base is another advantage. "Manufacturing plants in the Southeast are newer than those in the Midwest," he says. "They are shut down later in a downturn and opened earlier in an upturn."

Here are the lucky 13, with figures from 1979 to 1985:

Manufacturing Percentage

State jobs gained increase

1. California 88,100 4%

2. Florida 79,700 18%

3. Arizona 42,000 30%

4. Massachusetts 21,900 3%

5. Georgia 20,100 4%

6. Colorado 14,900 9%

7. Utah 11,100 13%

8. Virginia 11,100 3%

9. New Hampshire 9,000 8%

10. Minnesota 3,200 1%

11. New Mexico 2,600 8%

12. Delaware 2,400 4%

13. Nevada 2,400 13%