The BGOV Barometer shows U.S. factory positions have grown since early 2010, arresting a slide that began toward the end of the 1990s. It’s the best showing since the era of Bill Clinton, the only president in the last 30 years to leave office with more factory jobs than when he began.
“The gain in manufacturing jobs is certainly helpful, it is one way to show we’re moving forward,” said Terry Madonna, a political science professor and director of the Franklin & Marshall College poll in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “President Obama has to create a psychology all over the country that things are getting better. This is a piece explaining that idea.”
Obama took over at a time when manufacturing was at one of its lowest historical points, and the decline continued through the early part of his term thanks to the recession. The rebound, however, began with manufacturing production, which turned around in the wake of the stimulus package passed in the opening months of Obama’s term, and jobs began to follow. The automobile industry has also shown sustained job growth, making manufacturing one of the most positive sectors in the nation’s economic recovery.