Make It In America in the 113th Congress: New Opportunities for Economic Growth

Manufacturing continues to be a bright spot in our country’s economic recovery.  As job creation and economic growth remain a top priority, few sectors of the economy have as much impact on jobs, innovation, and maintaining global leadership as manufacturing does. That’s why House Democrats are focused on reinvigorating this important sector through the Make It In America plan, which focuses on four key areas – adopting and pursuing a national manufacturing strategy, promoting the export of U.S. goods, encouraging businesses to bring jobs and innovation back to the U.S., and training and securing a 21st century workforce – to rebuild a strong and robust economy that invests in job creation.

Manufacturing has a long and proud history in America. But since the 1970’s, manufacturing has seen a steep decline, shrinking from 20 million jobs in 1979 to fewer than 12 million jobs today.  Those job losses contributed to the stagnation of the middle class over the past decade— since 2000, the inflation-adjusted median household income has fallen by $4,787.

However, since 2010, we’ve seen a resurgence of the manufacturing sector:

  • According to the Institute for Supply Management, the manufacturing sector expanded 43 of the last 44 months since August 2009.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing employment has expanded in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

A study by the Center for American Progress confirms this trend:

Center for American Progress: “…manufacturing continues to be a bright spot in the jobs data, adding 25,000 jobs in July for an average of 26,000 per month in 2012. Durable goods manufacturing is growing at a pace faster than either the 1990s or 2000s recovery.” [Manufacturing Employment Gains Continue, 8/3/12]

And a recent poll shows that a majority of American voters agree the manufacturing sector is critical to America’s economic growth and competitiveness:

Alliance for American Manufacturing: “By a sizeable margin, voters rate manufacturing as the industry ‘most important to the overall strength of the American economy’ and support a national strategy to restore America’s global leadership in manufacturing.” [New National Poll: Voters See Manufacturing as the “Irreplaceable Core Of A Strong Economy,” 7/16/12]

By focusing on the four core components of the Make It In America plan, we can create an environment that creates well paying middle-class jobs, boosts America’s competitiveness, and helps spur growth in other areas of the economy that support manufacturing.