White House economic adviser Gene Sperling shares words of wisdom on his way out

Posted by TGarland on 03/05/2014

Today, President Obama and the White House lose a valued economic adviser, Gene Sperling. During Sperling’s 12 year tenure at the White House, he was known for his ability to explain seemingly obscure economics in an accessible way.

That made him a favorite here at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM). His championing American manufacturing didn't hurt his case with us either. So today, Mr. Sperling, all of us at AAM salute you.

Here are some great stand-out quotes from Sperling’s last speech on manufacturing:

Manufacturing creates well-paying middle class jobs -- education, experience, and all else being equal, manufacturing employees earn 14 percent higher total compensation, including benefits, than their non-manufacturing peers. And as firms are looking to hire new workers, new hires in manufacturing in 2011 made 38 percent more than in other industries.
Research by Enrico Moretti suggests that on average a manufacturing job supports 1.6 jobs outside of manufacturing, and that more advanced manufacturing activity has even higher multiplier effects, nearly 5 jobs across the broader economy as a result of the high wage jobs and wealth that manufacturing brings into a community.

And finally, Sperling acknowledges that the manufacturing sector cannot be expected to recover completely on its own. The United States needs smart public policies to support and strengthen the sector:

Despite these positive trends, a renaissance of U.S. manufacturing is not going to happen on its own, and its outcome is not predetermined. It requires long-term capital investments by both firms and governments... In short, for a manufacturing renaissance to occur, policy matters.

We wish you all the best, Mr. Sperling. And we look forward to working on strengthening American manufacturing and jobs with Sperling’s successor at the National Economic Council, Jeffery Zients.

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