American manufacturing is the largest single contributor the U.S. economy, generating about 12% of our GDP, and is central to our economic recovery. Thanks to the recovery efforts by the Obama Administration and the Democratic-led Congress, America's manufacturing base has grown for 11 straight months–with more than 135,000 manufacturing jobs created over the last six months:
But as an in-depth report on the manufacturing sector released today by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) shows, while this rebound is welcome news, targeted policies are still needed. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Chair of the JEC, explains:
These job gains are not consistent across the U.S. or even within the states with the largest manufacturing bases. There are a lot of unemployed manufacturing workers suffering — during the Bush years, we lost 27% of our country's manufacturing jobs — so this recent manufacturing rebound is especially good news. We need to ensure continued growth in this sector — by boosting demand and ensuring that there is a level playing field for products made in America.
Key findings from the JEC report, Understanding the Economy: Promising Signs of Recovery in Manufacturing:
Manufacturing Job Loss Leading up to and During the Great Recession
4.7 million manufacturing jobs — more than 27 percent of employment within the sector — were lost from February 2001 to February 2009.
About three-fourths of the almost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs lost between June 2006 and December 2009 were within durable goods.
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.
Manufacturing Recovery in 2010
The six consecutive months of manufacturing employment gains from January-June 2010 is the longest stretch of manufacturing growth since 1997.
States with the largest manufacturing employee bases have experienced manufacturing employment growth in 2010. In the first six months of 2010, manufacturing employment has increased by 4 percent in Indiana, 3 percent in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas, and 1 percent in California, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Manufacturing Recovery Fragile
Employers added only 9,000 manufacturing jobs in June 2010, the smallest monthly gain during the first six months of 2010.
House Democrats are working on a “Make it in America” manufacturing strategy to create the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future–promoting American competitiveness, innovation, and exports. As Speaker Pelosi explained:
Our strategy will create new American jobs building wind turbines and solar panels to power our homes and businesses. We will force China and other countries to honor fair trade principles; put returning veterans to work in clean energy jobs; and strengthen partnerships with businesses to retrain our workforce.
Learn more about “Make it in America” legislation the House has already passed:
U.S. MANUFACTURING ENHANCEMENT ACT (On way to President's desk for signature)
Helps U.S. manufacturers compete at home and abroad through over 600 tariff suspensions and reductions on intermediate products or materials these companies use that are not made domestically.
By reducing costs for U.S. businesses and ultimately increasing the competitiveness of their products, would increase U.S. production, expand GDP, and support tens of thousands of American jobs.
Supported by a 130 businesses including Chamber of Commerce and NAM, the bill passed by a vote of 378-43 despite the GOP Leadership's opposition.
PROTECTING AMERICAN PATENTS (On way to President's desk for signature)
Makes supplemental appropriations for the Patent and Trademark Office of $129 million, fully offset, to allow the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to prevent additional backlogs in patent applications and to improve the efficiency of patent examination operations.
Patents are critical to American innovation and economic growth, supporting good paying jobs here at home, by providing protections for new ideas and technologies.
Patents are crucial to help safeguard the American innovations that fuel emerging manufacturing sectors, like clean energy technology, from intellectual property theft by foreign competitors.
Supports new “sector” or “industry partnerships” that bring together businesses, unions, educators and job training institutions to develop and implement plans that help workers train for and advance in high-demand and emerging industries.
NATIONAL MANUFACTURING STRATEGY ACT (Passed By House)
Calls for a national manufacturing strategy, crucial to job creation and our economic success after losing 4.6 million manufacturing jobs under the Bush Administration.
The strategy should identify goals and recommendations for how the federal government, as well as state, local and private institutions, can best support the growth of U.S. manufacturers into the markets of the future.
CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY MANUFACTURING AND EXPORT ASSISTANCE ACT (Passed By House)
Strengthens the competitiveness of the U.S. clean technology industry in domestic and international markets.
Supports the development and implementation of a National Clean Energy Technology Export Strategy, and help U.S. firms find and navigate foreign markets.
Strengthen America's domestic clean-tech manufacturing sector by promoting policies that would reduce production costs and encourage innovation, investment and productivity in the sector.
Clean energy technology exports could increase by $40 billion per year and create more than 750,000 jobs by 2020. [Energy Department]
END THE TRADE DEFICIT ACT (Passed By House)
Establish a commission to tackle the U.S. trade deficit — which doubled under Bush and threatens our economic and national security by forcing us to borrow from China, for example.
It will examine the nature, causes and consequences of the U.S. trade deficit and make recommendations on reducing trade imbalances.
AMERICAN JOBS AND CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES ACT (Passed By House)
Helps create or save more than a million American jobs by restoring credit to small businesses, extending tax incentives for American R&D and energy, and rebuilding American infrastructure
Closes tax loopholes and enforces corporate accountability by preventing corporations from shipping jobs overseas & sticking American taxpayers with the bill, and making Wall Street investment fund billionaires pay a fair tax on their income