The Federal Role in Supporting Urban Manufacturing

Revitalizing American manufacturing is widely-acknowledged as vital to our country’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity, but it is equally essential to understand the changing of this sector in order to make smart policy decisions.

A new report, "The Federal Role in Supporting Urban Manufacturing," describes the changing economic geography of America's production sector-and how the federal government should work with state and local leaders to better support its growth and development. "If we're going to revive America's manufacturing sector to succeed in the next economy, we need to understand how it has changed," said Jennifer Vey, a Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program. "Americans are used to thinking about smokestack industries, with 800-pound-gorilla companies dominating the economic and physical landscape. But that's not the way things work in 2011."

"Nearly 70 percent of US manufacturing firms employ fewer than 20 people," Vey said. "They tend to be more agile, highly networked, and pay better wages than firms in other sectors. But they are also vulnerable in terms of access to available land and space, adequate infrastructure, necessary capital, and workers with appropriate skills."

Thanks to Alyssa Katz

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