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More Than 60% of Manufacturing Leaders Think a Recession Will Happen This Year

Still, most companies plan to spend on new equipment and technology and continue to invest in R&D.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) yesterday released the findings from its Q4 2022 Manufacturers Outlook Survey.

The survey found that 62.4% of manufacturing leaders believe the U.S. economy will slide into a recession this year. 

Staffing remains a primary concern, as 75.7% of leaders say finding and keeping quality employees will be the top problem in 2023.

More than 65% say supply chain disruptions will also be a challenge, and nearly 61% have concerns over increased material costs. 

Despite these worries, more than 65% of manufacturing leaders plan to spend capital on new equipment and technology. 

Most respondents also plan to upskill their workforce as they experience solid product demand. 

About 50% of companies plan on investing in R&D, and nearly 39% will invest in new structures and existing facilities. 

Nearly 69% of manufacturing leaders have a positive outlook for their company, which is the lowest since Q3 2020.

According to the survey, more than 75% of manufacturing leaders say the 118th Congress's top priority should be pushing back against regulatory overreach. 

Manufacturers also want to see increased domestic energy production, immigration reform, tax reform, control over rising health care costs and modernizing permitting to reduce red tape.

To address the ongoing labor crisis, more than 53% of manufacturing leaders say they have considered or used high-skilled immigrant visas (like an H-1B). Some 45% say they could use lesser-skilled immigrant visas, like H-2B, nonagricultural. Nearly 30% said they would consider refugees and other special immigrant visa holders, and 26.3% would use temporary protected status workers. About 26.7% of respondents say that no immigration programs will help fill their current workforce needs. 

NAM conducted the survey from November 29, 2022, through December 13, 2022.

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