Survey: Top Concerns for Manufacturers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association of Manufacturers released its Q1 2022 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, which shows manufacturers’ significant concerns around inflation, hiring, and potential tax increases. The NAM conducted the survey Feb. 11–25, 2022.


Key Findings:

  • 88.1% of respondents cited supply chain challenges as a primary business challenge in the first quarter, 85.7% cited increased raw material costs, and 79.0% cited the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce.
  • 88.6% of respondents said their company would find it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities if the tax burden on income from manufacturing activities increased.
  • 89.4% had unfilled positions within their companies for which they were struggling to find qualified applicants.

“The humanitarian crisis and economic disruptions of Russia’s war on Ukraine, as well as the resulting sanctions that manufacturers fully support, will exacerbate these supply chain challenges and could impact energy costs even more as we move into the second quarter. We’re looking to policymakers to take bold action, while manufacturers do everything in our power to help the nation and world persevere through another crisis,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

“Federal leaders should give energy manufacturers the tools to ramp up production here at home and improve our energy security. 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.

“Although job growth last year rose at the best pace since 1994, and wage growth is now at a 40-year high, the survey shows workforce shortages are still a major challenge. That’s why the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute continue leading our industry-wide Creators Wanted campaign—to inspire, educate and empower the manufacturing workforce of today and tomorrow.”

While manufacturers remain mostly optimistic in their economic outlook (88.8%, up from 86.8% in Q4), the survey was conducted prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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