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Manufacturers Still Concerned About Supply Chain, Workforce

Most manufacturers remained concerned about inflation, supply chains, unfilled jobs and the possibility of an increased tax burden last month, when the NAM conducted its Q1 2022 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey.

Key findings: There were several notable data points from the survey, which took place from Feb. 11 to Feb. 25. These include the following:

  • 88.1% of respondents cited supply chain issues as a primary business challenge in the first quarter.
  • 79.0% cited an inability to attract and keep a high-quality workforce.
  • 89.4% had unfilled positions at their companies and were struggling to fill them.

Coming hurdles: Russia’s war on Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis there and the resulting sanctions will likely make current manufacturer challenges worse and could affect energy prices into the second quarter, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

A bright spot: Job growth in 2021 rose at the best pace since 1994, and wage growth is now at a 40-year high, Timmons said.

What’s needed: “Federal leaders should give energy manufacturers the tools to ramp up production here at home and improve our energy security,” Timmons said in a statement. “At the same time, we need Congress to finish the China competition bill to increase domestic semiconductor production and bolster supply chains, among other manufacturing priorities. Any discussion of raising taxes on manufacturers will create uncertainty and make it difficult to invest, hire and expand, hurting the broader economy.”

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