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Unwavering Commitment

The public's view of the manufacturing industry today


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Economists, business and government leaders all keep a close eye on the fortunes of the U.S. manufacturing industry, knowing the impact it has on the broader business environment. But what about the public? After all, their views of the manufacturing industry help shape public policy and have a direct impact on the talent pool.

Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute's third annual survey of the American public's opinions on the manufacturing industry and its future show a nation looking for jobs that have so far failed to materialize after the significant cut-backs during the Great Recession. Although surprisingly hungry for a strong manufacturing sector, the survey findings reflect a level of nervousness about the industry's future competitiveness.

Throughout one of the most turbulent periods in U.S economic history, they have maintained remarkably consistent views, year after year, on the importance of manufacturing. Starting in the immediate aftermath of the recession in 2008-2009, each year our survey has uncovered a consistently high regard for manufacturing, both in terms of its role in the U.S. economy and our global standing, as well as its importance in job creation. In many cases, the results of our queries on these messages are virtually interchangeable over the past three years.

The survey findings suggest that despite the frequent swings of public opinion on a wide range of topics, Americans remain steadfast in their commitment to creating a strong, healthy, globally competitive manufacturing sector in the United States, no matter the prevailing economic winds. And the survey further suggests they would support, and expect, appropriate investments toward that end. That's important for leaders in business and government to understand, as they work together to pull the right levers on the country's economic and job creation engine. According to the public, manufacturing is a consistent top priority.

All of this occurs at a moment when the US economy is facing a challenging, stubborn economic environment - particularly when it comes to job creation.  Keeping the U.S. manufacturing industry on the right track is of vital importance to the country's future.

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