Rich Wolin: Manufacturing, the backbone of an American recovery


Most forecasts for manufacturing were still generally optimistic at the end of 2019. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) was reporting robust projections from small- to medium-sized companies with sales growth of 2.6 percent. Statistics from the federal government’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, however, pointed to a slowdown in the rate of growth for manufacturing output and capacity, signaling the possibility of a looming recession.

By March, all of those predictions were useless because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The stock market took a plunge as many states instituted stay-at-home orders and some sectors of the economy effectively shut down. One key difference in this economic slowdown was that manufacturing remained relatively strong; traditionally this sector would lead the way with layoffs and closures. There are two notable areas where the manufacturing industry demonstrated leadership during this pandemic. Read the full article from