- Advanced Manufacturing
Improving The Manufacturing SectorAugust 31, 2012
A Brookings policy framework paper argues that public policy is needed to strengthen manufacturing.
Like most industries in the United States, the manufacturing sector has had a bleak outlook for jobs growth since the recession. Though the industry performs well compared to the rest of the U.S. economy, manufacturing actually performs poorly compared to other high-wage countries, according to a Brookings policy report.
The report chiefly argues that U.S. manufacturing policies must strengthen in key areas to prove that the industry matters for high-wage jobs, commercial innovation and trade deficit reduction. Among the areas suggested for improvement:
- Research and development
- Lifelong training of workers at all levels
- Improved access to finance
- An increased role for workers and communities in creating and sharing the gains from innovative manufacturing
The paper also seeks to set a framework for manufacturing policy and answer two main questions: “Why does manufacturing matter?” and “Which manufacturing matters?”
“Manufacturing serves critical purposes that make it indispensable to the U.S. economy,” the paper states. “It remains a source of high-wage jobs for virtually all types of workers, but especially for those who would otherwise earn the lowest wages.”
But the report argues that the main challenge to creating a vibrant manufacturing sector is a lack of political will to create a national manufacturing policy. Read the report here.