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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
Category: 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
Category: Current State of MFG, Global Competitiveness, Education & Workforce, Regulatory & 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.

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.
Other categories: Capital & Cost, Global CompetitivenessFederal/Industry Collaboration, Education & Workforce, Regulatory and Policy Recommendations, Productivity

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. Other categories: Current State of MFGGlobal CompetitivenessEducation & Workforce, 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.
Other categories:Current State of MFG, Innovation, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations ,Productivity

ThomasNet Industry Market Barometer®- September 2013'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.'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.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation,Global Competitiveness,Education & 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.
Other 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.
Other Categories: Innovation, Capital & Cost, Global Competitiveness, Education & 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.
Other Categories: Capital & Cost, Global Competitiveness, Education & 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. 
Other Categories:Innovation, Capital & 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. 
Other Categories:Current State of MFG, Innovation, Capital & Cost, Education & WorkforceProductivity

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.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, 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.
Other Categories: Current State of MFG, Innovation, Capital & Cost, Education & Workforce, Regulatory & 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.
Other 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.
Other Categories: Global Competitiveness, Capital & Cost, Regulatory & Policy Recommendations