A New Report from Congress on Manufacturing

By August 2, 2010Economy, Trade

The Joint Economic Committee today released a new report in its Understanding the Economy series. The report, “Promising Signs of Recovery in Manufacturing,” was written by the majority, i.e., Democratic, staff of the committee.

Key points, according to the executive summary:

  • The durable goods sector was particularly hard-hit by the recession. About three-fourths of the almost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs lost between June 2006 and December 2009 were within the durable goods manufacturing.
  • In June 2006, manufacturing made up more than 10 percent of employment in 26 states; by December 2009, only 17 states had manufacturing sectors that made up more than 10 percent of employment.
  • In the first half of 2010, manufacturing gained 136,000 jobs. Nearly all of those employment gains were in durable goods manufacturing. The gains in durable goods employment have been concentrated in states with large manufacturing bases in the Midwest and South. Michigan, Ohio and Texas have shown particularly strong gains.
  • Some of the recent employment growth in manufacturing may be due to inventory restocking – as manufacturing inventories began to rise in January 2010 so did manufacturing employment. In fact, the ISM Index shows that growth in the manufacturing sector is slowing now that firms have restocked their inventories.
  • Congressional actions to support manufacturing have included support for exports, tax credits for clean energy manufacturing and efforts to spur domestic demand for vehicles. More actions are needed to ensure a robust and sustainable recovery in the U.S. manufacturing sector.


Agreed entirely that more actions are needed. The National Association of Manufacturers’ recent “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America” details just what those actions should be.

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