Saarland long supported a large iron and steel industry based on vast coal fields. Although iron and steel fell off greatly in the 1990s, bringing a dramatic rise in unemployment, the development of car and auto-parts industries, along with the establishment of high-tech businesses, helped counter the decline. Other manufactures include machinery, motors, ceramics, processed foods, and textiles. Agricultural production is limited. The state is an important road and rail junction and is served by a dense rail network; it also is connected with the Rhine-Marne Canal. There is a domestic and international airport at Saarbrücken-Ensheim.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.