Itâ€™s been called the beginning of a manufacturing renaissance.
As President Obama noted at yesterdayâ€™s â€śInsourcing American Jobsâ€ť forum, 334,000 manufacturing jobs have been created in the past two years. And, in the third quarter of 2011, manufacturing profits were up more than 7 percent compared to the first quarter.
These positive trends are very good news because manufacturing is a key to our economy. As the Department of Commerceâ€™s reportâ€”â€śThe Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United Statesâ€ťâ€”recently highlighted, in 2009, manufacturing made up more than 11 percent of GDP.
It employed nearly 12 million workers. And, these are good jobs. In the manufacturing sector, total hourly compensation is, on average, 22 percent higher than the services sector.
Thatâ€™s why the Obama administration is firmly committed to working with the manufacturing industry to keep this momentum going.
Today, I had the honor of serving as the keynote speaker at the National Association of Manufacturersâ€™ Council of Manufacturing Associations (NAM CMA) winter meeting.
I talked about the work we are doing at the International Trade Administration to support their efforts. Exports and manufacturing are intimately linked. U.S. businesses produce the best and most innovative products in the world. But, what good is a product if it sits on a shelf? Businesses need to sell them.