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Manufacturers Grow More Concerned About Regulatory Blitz

Manufacturers are becoming increasingly concerned about the unprecedented number of unbalanced, unworkable regulations being handed down by federal agencies, according to the NAM’s Q2 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey.

  • Sixty-five percent reported that if regulatory burdens were reduced, they would purchase more equipment; more than 46% said they would pay their workers more.
  • Over sixty-three percent said they spend more than 2,000 hours complying with federal regulations.

Also notable: Other key conclusions from the quarterly analysis, which was conducted from May 18 to June 1, 2023, include:

  • Sixty-seven percent of manufacturers reported being positive about their company’s outlook, a decrease of more than 11% since Q1 (74.7%) and the lowest in nearly three years.
  • Seventy-five percent of manufacturers polled said comprehensive permitting reform would help their businesses, allowing them to hire more employees, expand their operations and/or boost wages.

Persistent challenges: As they have in the past three surveys, manufacturers this quarter again cited attracting top talent as their number-one workforce challenge (74.4%).

  • The next biggest hurdles reported were a weaker U.S. economy (55.7%), rising health care or insurance costs (53.1%), an unfavorable business climate (52.1%), increased raw materials costs (50.8%) and supply chain challenges (44.9%).

The last word: “Congress and the administration have taken bold steps to support manufacturing in the United States,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said.

  • “But the positive effects of tax reform, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act are being undermined by the growing regulatory burden. The unrelenting barrage of regulations threatens to undermine manufacturers’ competitiveness. If the administration’s regulatory onslaught continues, its manufacturing agenda will fail. Unfortunately, we are seeing the signs of exactly that happening.”
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