NAM Labor Day Report: Manufacturing Improving, Economy Still Fragile

The National Association of Manufacturers’ “Labor Day 2009: The Manufacturing Report” notes signs of improving conditions in the manufacturing sector over the past few months but warns the economy is still fragile. The report looks at the economic decline since 2008, the signs of stabilization emerging, and the outlook for employment, manufacturing, and the economy. It projects an upturn in manufacturing production gradually over the next year with more significant growth in the 2011-2014 period.

The report projects that by 2014, the manufacturing sector will regain more than 40 percent of the jobs lost during the current downturn.

While the association says there are indications that the nation may be in the early stages of recovery, its report indicates there is significant reason for caution, noting that a recovery would be negatively impacted if Congress and the Obama administration enact policies that discourage investment, hamper flexibility, or raise the costs of doing business in the United States. The report further notes that prospects for good jobs, a strong manufacturing sector, and a growing economy depend on U.S. global competitiveness.

“There are grounds for optimism, but there is even greater reason for caution,” said NAM President John Engler. “A recovery could stall out or even shift into reverse if Congress and the Administration enact policies that increase the burden on businesses and make us less competitive in the global economy.

“This Labor Day, the NAM welcomes the signs of returning growth and jobs and calls on Congress and the Administration to reject the policies that would stop the nation’s progress toward recovery.”

The report is available at www.nam.org/labordayreport09.

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