Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2021. “Attracting and retaining a quality workforce” and “rising raw material costs” remain manufacturers’ biggest concerns for the second straight quarter. Despite those concerns, manufacturers predicted some of the highest expected growth rates in the survey’s history and the most positive outlook since the third quarter of 2018.
“Manufacturers see an incredible future on the horizon and are predicting growth numbers unheard of in the more than two-decade history of this survey,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “But yet, a dark cloud still hangs over the industry. Manufacturers face long-term workforce challenges, with a record-high 851,000 open manufacturing jobs right now and more than 4 million to be filled over the next decade. While a very serious concern, manufacturers are doing everything we can to meet this challenge. The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign, including a first-of-its-kind mobile manufacturing experience, will cover thousands of miles in the second half of this year tackling the top two issues facing this critical workforce challenge: a skills gap and misperceptions about modern manufacturing.
“To keep this momentum going, elected leaders in Washington should advance policies that will enhance our competitiveness and strengthen our industry, starting with delivering bipartisan infrastructure investment. Failing to do so will rob generations to come of the opportunity to achieve their highest potential. Conversely, moving forward with proposed tax increases, as our studies have shown, would mean 1 million jobs lost in just the first two years. Anti-worker laws like the forced unionization PRO Act would upend our workplaces. Whether today’s manufacturing optimism is a passing moment or a new normal has a lot to do with the choices our elected leaders make.”
- 90.1% manufacturer optimism, highest since Q3 2018
- 3.7% expected growth in full-time employment, a record high
- 6.1% expected growth in sales over the next 12 months, a record high
- 5.9% expected growth in production over the next 12 months, a record high
Read the full Q2 2021 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey results here.
Background on Creators Wanted:
The NAM, together with the MI, launched the Creators Wanted campaign, an unprecedented national effort to build the modern manufacturing workforce of tomorrow. By 2025, Creators Wanted aims to reduce the skills gap in the United States by 600,000, as well as increase the number of students enrolling in technical and vocational schools or reskilling programs by 25% and increase the positive perception of the industry among parents to 50% from 27%.
Creators Wanted is part of a digital campaign together with a first-of-its-kind mobile traveling manufacturing experience, and it is part of sustained initiatives at the MI targeting youth, veterans, women and other underrepresented communities.
The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.
“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”
In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:
Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.
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 $2.25 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.