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  Data and Reports


Research and Reports Main Page

Analysis of the productivity of sectors, firms, and workers in the manufacturing industry as well as comparisons to other industries and countries

Featured Reports:

productivitywhitelineThe Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth
April 2012
Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Productivity

This report explains that challenges in talent, innovation, infrastructure, and energy consumption are what countries and companies in the manufacturing industry must prepare to face in the coming years. In order to stay competitive in the global market, companies need to find the highest skilled workers, breathe innovation and become more efficient in energy, production and logistics.



productivitywhitelineManufacturing Productivity Through the Great Recession: What does it mean for the future?
June 2013
Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

In the wake of the Great Recession, there has been extensive conversation over the prospects of manufacturing growth in the United States. This study examines four types of manufacturing productivity growth from 2004 to 2011, with a discussion of the implications for the future of manufacturing in the United States.

Productivity Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: An Industry-Based Analysis - March 2016
This paper is the first in a series of MAPI Foundation studies whose goal is to shed light on productivity dynamics in the manufacturing sector from the perspective of questions that are unique to the present-day economic and technological climate. The current study makes use of an expanding dataset on productivity growth in detailed manufacturing industries to analyze the industry pattern of the U.S. manufacturing productivity evolution. The results of a dynamic ranking analysis of manufacturing subsector productivity performance, and performance along a number of variables that are known to impact productivity, are first discussed. This is followed by a presentation of the results of estimating one-equation models designed to identify key drivers of multifactor productivity growth and labor productivity growth in select manufacturing subsectors. Finally, modest statistical evidence is offered to support the hypothesis of cross-industry impacts of productivity determination.  The results suggest an uncertain outlook for U.S. manufacturing productivity performance in the wake of a sharp deceleration in the growth of labor productivity in the computer and electronic products subsector, which has played an outsized role in total manufacturing productivity strength. Findings point to the need for a program that stimulates capital investment, innovation investment, and workforce human capital in a unified approach for enhancing U.S. manufacturing productivity performance during this period of global integration and disruptive technological advancement. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Manufacturing’s Next Act - June 2015
The focus of this article is on Industry 4.0, the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector.  It reveals some powerful emerging currents with strong potential to change the way factories work. Most of these digital technologies have been brewing for some time. Some are not yet ready for application at scale. But many are now at a point where their greater reliability and lower cost are starting to make sense for industrial applications. However, companies are not consistently aware of the emerging technologies. Manufacturers should begin today to join the hunt for the best digital talent, and think about how to structure their digital organization. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Best Practices, Productivity, Supply Chain

The Myth and the Reality of Manufacturing in America - June 2015
The production and shipment of goods in the United States is a large, important, and growing part of the economy. Despite the continued growth and long-term health of manufacturing, significant misconceptions remain about the sector’s demand for labor and how it has changed in recent decades. This report identifies and explains a major source of misunderstanding in manufacturing. The first section focuses on what effects productivity change, domestic demand, and foreign trade has on U.S. manufacturing employment. Then policy dimensions of these findings are discussed. A  brief overview of manufacturing in the United States is also included. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Advanced Manufacturing Opportunities Report: How Advanced Manufacturing is Helping U.S. Companies Compete Globally - March 2015
More than half of manufacturing leaders are planning to invest in advanced manufacturing technologies in the next two years, according to SME’s Advanced Manufacturing Media. The findings are part of the organization’s Advanced Manufacturing Opportunities Report, which highlights results of a survey of manufacturing executives, engineers and managers on why companies are investing in and using advanced manufacturing technologies such as industrial robotics and additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. See more at www.sme.org. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Best Practices, Productivity

The New Hire: How a New Generation of Robots is Transforming Manufacturing - September 2014
To get a better grasp on how US manufacturers are enlisting robots in their production lines—and future plans—PwC carried out a survey of 120 manufacturers. They found that while the majority of respondents have already adopted robotics technology, there still exists real barriers for those which have yet to do so, citing limitations such as cost, the lack of perceived need, and expertise and skills needed to properly exploit them. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce, Productivity

The U.S. Manufacturing Base: Four Signs of Strength - June 2014
"This Policy Brief examines data that are more recent and more detailed than data previously used to refute the claims of US manufacturing weakness and present new evidence of its strength and breadth.  This Policy Brief updates a 2013 PIIE study by Robert Lawrence and Lawrence Edwards.  The results focus on four empirical investigations pointing to the growing strength of US manufacturing, and, in many cases, refuting or updating previous claims. The 4 Signs of Strength: manufacturing output growth, U.S. Manufacturing competitive performance relative to other sectors of the U.S. economy, U.S. Manufacturing productivity growth relative to other countries, and new evidence of outward expansion by U.S. MNCS and economic activity by those same firms at home. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

3D Printing and the New Shape of Industrial Manufacturing - June 2014
Surely, the potential of 3D printing (3DP) has captured the popular imagination.  From jet engine parts to made-to-fit bikinis, the technology is being hailed as a revolution in how products are manufactured.  According to estimates, the global 3DP printer market is poised to hit $6 billion by 2017 from $2.2 billion in 2012, with global shipments of printers costing less than $100,000 expected to reach about 98,000 in 2014, roughly twice as many as 2013.  But in the heartland of US industrial manufacturing, 3DP appears more on an evolutionary track, as companies large and small shape 3DP programs—and as 3DP printers, software and materials science advance.  To get a clearer picture, PwC surveyed over 100 industrial manufacturers, from small contract manufacturers to multinationals.  Based on this survey, interviews with industry leaders and a PwC analysis surrounding the economics of 3DP, this report explores how and why companies are bringing this technology closer to an effective tipping point of adoption. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Productivity, Supply Chain

Manufacturing Since the Great Recession - June 2014
This report provides an overview of the renewed expansion in manufacturing, examining output, international trade, and the labor market. The steady growth across all three of these areas might have seemed like wishful thinking just a few years ago when manufacturing was hit especially hard. Since the last recession, however, manufacturing output and exports have surpassed their pre-recession levels, and employment has begun to grow again for the first time since 1998. Nonetheless, while the manufacturing expansion is robust, it has not been even across manufacturing industries and the states. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Productivity

The Role of Exports in the United States Economy - May 2014
In his 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) as part of a government-wide strategy to promote exports. During the ensuing years, as the U.S. recovered from the economic downturn in the “Great Recession,” the growth in U.S. exports has been one of the major success stories in the U.S. economy. Since 2009, exports have helped pull the U.S. economy out of the devastating recession that occurred between 2007 and 2009. Exports have contributed more to the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in this recovery than in the previous recovery; have helped support millions of high-paying jobs in the U.S.; and have been responsible for major contributions to the economic performance of many states and metropolitan areas. Moving forward, exports will continue to make important contributions to the U.S. economy and the NEI/NEXT is structured to do more to help U.S. manufacturers, farmers, workers and innovators sell Made-in-America products and services world-wide to the benefit of our economy. Categories: Capital and Cost, Global CompetitivenessFederal and Industry Collaboration, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

Are Robots Taking Our Jobs, Or Making Them? - September 2013
This report analyzes the “robots are killing our jobs” arguments, shows how they are constructed on faulty analysis, examines the extensive economic literature on the relationship between employment and productivity, and explains the logic of how higher productivity leads to more jobs. The report shows that more technology benefits not just the economy overall, but also workers: more and better technology is essential to U.S. competitiveness and higher living standards. The claim that increased productivity eliminates jobs is misguided speculation. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

ThomasNet Industry Market Barometer®- September 2013
ThomasNet.com's Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) is an annual survey of buyers and sellers of products and services in the industrial market. Respondents are engineers and purchasing agents, business owners and managers, and sales and marketing executives from manufacturers, distributors and service companies. ThomasNet.com's® 2013 Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) survey of more than 1,200 manufacturers paints a picture of a sector that is reinventing itself every day. These companies are growing, expecting future growth, hiring, and increasing their production capacity to meet additional demand. This report discusses barriers, opportunities, and solutions to designing energy efficiency programs that result in significant savings from smaller manufacturers. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce, Productivity

Competitiveness, Innovation, and Productivity: Clearing up Confusion - August 2013
To listen to many economists, pundits and policymakers discuss the economics of growth it would be easy to be confused by the commonly used terms: competitiveness, innovation and productivity. These terms are often used almost interchangeably and with little precise meaning. To remedy the situation, this policy memo defines these terms and explains how each is important in driving economic prosperity. Categories: Innovation, Global Competitiveness

Manufacturing and Logistics 2012 National Report - June 2012
State by state grades on areas such as productivity and innovation, human capital, global costs, diversification, venture capital, manufacturing, and logistics. Categories: Innovation, Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

Worse Than the Great Depression: What the Experts Are Missing About American Manufacturing Decline - March 2012
Debunks widely held myths about productivity gains, restructuring, and a manufacturing renaissance and reveals the stark reality of a historic decline in U.S. competitiveness and unprecedented deindustrialization. The report explains what the United States is experiencing is not merely another boom and bust cycle but a structural decline more akin to what Britain experienced in the 1960s and 1970s when it lost its industrial leadership. Categories: Capital and Cost, Global Competitiveness, Education and Workforce

Growing Your Region’s Economy with Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs  - December 2011
NADO's publication highlights the innovative approaches being taken by five regional development organizations (RDO) in Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin to spur job growth through new business startups or existing business expansions. Categories:Innovation, Capital and Cost, Best Practice, Productivity

Riding the New Wave in Manufacturing to More Jobs and a Better Economy - November 2011
Time is of the essence. Because longer-term initiatives require sustained public support and political will, we need to demonstrate the potential of manufacturing to create jobs now. Over the longer term, however, the U.S. hold on manufacturing must rely not just on a tenuous advantage in factor costs, but on better quality control, customer responsiveness and inter-firm efficiency. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce, Productivity

What's Your Plan for 2025? - October 2011
Provides a thorough view on the struggles of today and tomorrow’s U.S. manufacturers. Focus areas include: customer priorities through innovation; globally local operations; supply network flexibility; agility on the shop floor and beyond; sustain and partner for scarce resources. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Best Practices, Productivity

Manufacturing's Wake-Up Call - August 2011
A new study shows how the decisions made today by goods producers and policymakers will shape U.S. competitiveness tomorrow. Key recommendations: 1) Attract best workers 2) Invest in high impact clusters 3)Build a future with Mexico 4) simplify and streamline the tax and regulatory structure. Categories: Current State of Manufacturing, Innovation, Capital and Cost, Education and Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations

Manufacturing Insecurity - April 2010
Analyzes key manufacturing trends and their linkage to national security and explores how a diminishing domestic manufacturing base contributes to a decline in American technological leadership and innovation capacity, widely recognized to be vital for maintaining U.S. defense capabilities. Categories: Global Competitiveness

Manufacturing Resurgence- A Must for US Prosperity - January 2010
Scans the variety of challenges and strategy options from a trade association perspective. Categories: Global Competitiveness, Capital and Cost, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations