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AAM poll: Mfg. jobs a top priority

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WASHINGTON (Feb. 4, 2014) — Manufacturing job losses are a top priority for American voters across the political spectrum, according to the results of a new poll conducted for the Alliance of American Manufacturers (AAM).

The poll, conducted in January by Mellman Group and North Star Opinion Research, also showed that voters blame the federal government’s policies as the main obstacle to creating jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“Lawmakers have a clear, bipartisan mandate from the public to take bold actions that will create jobs,” said AAM President Scott Paul regarding the poll.

According to the AAM, 72 percent of those polled said they were “worried the most” or “worried a great deal” about manufacturing jobs as a political issue—a percentage of concern matched only by the federal budget deficit.

By a 62-34 margin, voters rejected the idea that service and high-tech jobs can replace manufacturing jobs in the U.S., the AAM said. Thirty percent of those polled blamed U.S. economic policies for job outsourcing, and 15 percent blamed the lack of a national manufacturing strategy, it said.

Nearly two-thirds of voters (65 percent) blamed outsourcing as the reason for the lack of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., according to the AAM. This compared with 28 percent who blamed a shortage of skilled workers in the U.S. and 25 percent who blamed the cost of manufacturing in the U.S.

Eighty-four percent of those polled—including 87 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of independents—supported a national manufacturing strategy to make sure U.S. tax, economic, educational and trade policies are designed to support manufacturing in the U.S., the AAM said. A clear bipartisan majority also supported federal and state worker training programs, trade agreement enforcement, tax incentives for manufacturer investments and cracking down on unfairly subsidized imports.

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