The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has released its 2018 Third Quarter Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey. Available here, the survey provides insight into the current state of the American manufacturing industry.
While the NAM regularly releases these surveys on the American manufacturing industry, the organization’s latest survey reveals some surprising facts. After analyzing companies’ responses, NAM found that 93.9% of American manufacturing companies have an optimistic perspective of the industry. That’s the highest optimism level among American manufacturing companies ever reported, attesting to the industry’s newfound success.
It’s not just optimism that’s high among American manufacturing companies. These companies are also reporting higher-than-expected sales, thereby fueling the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Manufacturing companies throughout the country are selling more goods and generating higher profits than in the past.
“Tax reform and regulatory relief have spurred strong manufacturing growth, and manufacturers are now investing in our communities, hiring more Americans and raising wages and benefits. Amid all this good news, it is no surprise that manufacturers in 2018 are more optimistic than they have ever been in the history of our survey. Still, with the workforce crisis being manufacturers’ most widely cited challenge,” said NAM President Jay Timmons when discussing the new Outlook Survey.
Tax reform has been a driving force for the American manufacturing industry. In a separate report by The Washington Examiner, it’s revealed that more than 100 U.S.-based manufacturing companies have expanded their operations in the wake of these recent tax cuts. Some of these manufacturing companies have constructed new factories in the United States, whereas others have hired new workers. Regardless, the fact is that many American manufacturing companies are expanded their operations, thanks in part to recent tax cuts.
With that said, there are challenges faced by American manufacturing companies. According to NAM’s 2018 Third Quarter Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, the single biggest challenge reported by American manufacturing companies is the inability to find skilled workers. Nearly two-thirds of American manufacturing companies cited this as their biggest challenge. The survey even found that more than 33% of American manufacturing companies have postponed expanded their operations due to lack of skilled workers, while others have rejected new business.
The good news is that this will likely encourage workers to increase their education and skill set to secure a job in the American manufacturing industry. As the need for skilled workers in the American manufacturing industry increases, it will create a void that forward-thinking workers will fill.