Agenda for Shared Prosperity


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American manufacturing, although slowed by a decade of rapid import growth and job loss, remains a bulwark of the U.S. economy:

  • Manufacturing employs about one-tenth of all U.S. workers (roughly14 million);
  • Manufacturing is responsible for over 12% of total gross domestic product;
  • About 60% of spending on research and development is done by the manufacturing sector;
  • Nine percent of manufacturing employment is scientists and engineers, a source of high productivity;
  • For non-college educated workers manufacturing is a crucial source of good, often highly skilled jobs at above average wages.

The Agenda for Shared Prosperity has identified manufacturing as an essential part of America's economic future and described a comprehensive strategy to ensure our global competitiveness. That strategy includes smarter trade agreements, a currency revaluation, more (but careful) support for research and development, and government help to make manufacturers who locate production in the United States more efficient, productive, and profitable.

Addressing the manufacturing sector in particular, Susan Helper and George Sterzinger present several options for increasing the demand for manufactured goods—especially by promoting renewable energy. They also highlight several ways to ensure that the manufacturing sector will continue to provide good jobs and high value to the U.S. economy. Helper recommends policies to encourage employers to take a "high-road" approach. She recommends expanding and improving the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, while at the same time following complementary policies to create good jobs.


Building energizing prosperity: Renewable energy and re-industrialization
by George Sterzinger

The importance of manufacturing: Key to recovery in the states and the nation
by Robert E. Scott

Renewing U.S. manufacturing: Promoting a high-road strategy
by Susan Helper

Event transcript

February 13, 2008 event, featuring Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Helper, and George Sterzinger: Read transcript [PDF] and check out audio and video from this event.



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