Labor and Employment

Manufacturers in the U.S. are evolving and adapting constantly to the demands of the 21st-century economy to stay safe, productive and competitive. But government-imposed challenges are not faced equally by many of our global competitors, threatening the future of our workforce and competitiveness.

Key Facts

of manufacturers cited the inability to attract and retain employees as their top primary challenge
of manufacturers cited rising health care/insurance costs as a primary business concern
of manufacturers said tax increases will decrease job creation

The figures above can be found on the NAM’s 2024 Second Quarter Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey

Adapting for a 21st-Century Workforce

The U.S. will not maintain its mantle of economic leadership unless all labor stakeholders work together to ensure the best and most productive workplaces. Employees, organized labor, management and lawmakers should collaborate in search of outcomes that deliver a positive work environment, opportunities for employee professional growth and safe and healthy facilities.

Modernizing labor and employment laws and regulations to fit the needs of today’s manufacturing workforce—rather than relying on older or inaccurate views of manufacturing—will benefit workers and improve safety outcomes

The only way that we’re going to be successful is by having an engaged team. Having an engaged team and workers only happens with a people-first mentality. When you take care of them, you become successful because you have an engaged team that has your back.
— Aneesa Muthana, President and Co-Owner, Pioneer Service
Manufacturers continue to be challenged in today’s economy, with unbalanced federal regulations harming families and communities. Congress and the administration can help correct this trend by restoring sensible regulations, enacting further permitting reforms, taking action to keep our tax code competitive and other bipartisan steps to strengthen manufacturing in America and build on the progress we achieved with tax reform, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act and more.
— Jay Timmons, NAM President and CEO

What Should We Do Now?

Policymakers can update workplace laws and regulations to unleash the full potential of modern manufacturing and innovation and ensure that the U.S. remains globally competitive well into the future. Below are critical policy recommendations that Congress and the President should act on to ensure the best and most productive workplaces.


  1. 1
    Oppose initiatives that tip the balance away from current legal precedent with respect to union organizing, appropriate bargaining unit sizes and expanded definitions of key labor terms
  2. 2
    Promote 21st-century workplace ideas that incentivize employees to remain and grow in the manufacturing sector, such as options for compensatory time off
  3. 3
    Reestablish collaborative approaches with employers and create effective federal advisory councils to address workplace safety needs, equal employment opportunities and a diverse workplace
  1. 4
    Support legislation that guarantees employee choice and freedom of association
  2. 5
    Codify clear, uniform and workable federal nondiscrimination protections for all employees in the workplace
  3. 6
    Ensure meaningful and effective oversight of key workplace regulators, such as the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board, to promote smart and fair regulatory approaches

Share Your Voice

By sharing our voices, manufacturers play a vital role in advocating for modern labor and employment laws and regulations that fit the needs of today’s manufacturing workforce.

We encourage you to share with us your thoughts on why fighting for modernized workforce policies is critical to growing the economy and strengthening the industrial base. In doing so, you’re helping to equip the NAM with our most powerful advocacy tool: the manufacturing voice.