US President Barack Obama highlighted the country’s manufacturing resurgence during a trip to a TechShop in Pittsburgh.
Associated Press reports that Obama visited the local chapter of TechShop, a chain of business incubator and workshop sites associated with the country’s maker movement, and said the US could maintain its edge in innovation through promoting STEM skills.
"We've got to have basic research, we've got to have skills like math and science and engineering that that are developed, we also have to provide platforms for people who have these ideas to go out there and actually make stuff, " AP reports him as saying.
"...Because of advances in technology, part of the opportunity is now — to make the tools that are needed for production and prototypes are now democratised,” he said. “They’re in the hands of anybody who’s got a good idea.”
The United States’ manufacturing sector has seen the highest rate of growth in new manufacturing companies since 1993, according to the Washington Post.
The Institute for Supply Management’s PMI survey recorded a result of 55.4 for last month, indicating strong growth. And according to figures from the White House, the country’s manufacturing output is up 30 per cent since the 2007 – 2009 recession.
Critics of Obama's claims of the US's manufacturing strength point to the decline in employment in manufacturing, a theme common among advanced economies.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures in March show that approximately 12,085,000 were employed in the sector. The number in 2007 for March was 13,970,000.