A Labor Legacy to Remember: Years of Excessive Overregulation

New NAM Study Outlines Cost of Labor Regulations

Washington, D.C., September 22, 2016 – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a new study today that outlines the destructive legacy this administration’s relentless labor regulatory agenda will leave for manufacturers, their employees and the communities in which they live.

Regulations on issues such as contractor blacklisting, employee overtime, silica, union elections and injury and illness reporting will not only result in hundreds of millions of hours of paperwork, but will also come at a price tag of more than $80 billion in compliance costs over the next 10 years.

“It has been troubling to watch regulation after regulation with major economic costs come from this administration,” said NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse. “These regulations are making it harder for manufacturers to continue to create jobs and economic opportunity. It is becoming clear that the administration is dismissing the real-world costs while manufacturers are losing valuable hours and money spent complying with these regulations. This study demonstrates the true impact of regulations that are duplicative, complicated and burdensome.

We understand the need for reasonable regulations and take pride in creating safe workplaces with opportunities for all, but this increasing stream of burdens is not a balanced approach that we need to succeed. Manufacturers want to spend their time and resources hiring new workers or investing in life-improving products, but the billions being spent complying with burdensome regulations makes that goal increasingly difficult to achieve.”

According to the study, recent labor regulations from the administration will cost the following over the next 10 years:

  • $81.6 billion in compliance costs
  • 155,700 lost jobs
  • 411 million hours of paperwork

Key findings include the following:

  • The pace of labor rulemaking in the waning months of the Obama presidency will easily exceed that of the previous three two-term presidencies.
  • On average, the Obama administration’s Department of Labor finalized nearly twice as many major labor regulations per year than the previous four administrations.

To read the study, click here. To learn more about the impact of President Obama’s labor agenda on manufacturers, visit our website.


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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