WASHINGTON, D.C.-The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has released its “Labor Day 2009: The Manufacturing Report.” The report confirms signs of improving conditions in the manufacturing sector during the past few months, but warns the economy is still fragile.

The report looks at the economic decline in 2008 to 2009; the signs of stabilization emerging; and the outlook for employment, manufacturing and the economy. It projects an upturn in manufacturing production gradually during the next year with more significant growth in the 2011 to 2014 period. The report also projects that by 2014, the manufacturing sector will regain more than 40% of the jobs lost during the current downturn.

While there are indications that we may be in the early stages of recovery, the report indicates there is significant reason for caution. According to the report, a recovery would be negatively impacted if Congress and the administration enact policies that discourage investment, hamper flexibility or raise the costs of doing business in the United States. The report notes that prospects for good jobs, a strong manufacturing sector and a growing economy depend on U.S. global competitiveness.

“There are grounds for optimism, but there is even greater reason for caution,” says NAM President John Engler. “A recovery could stall out or even shift into reverse if Congress and the administration enact policies that increase the burden on businesses and make us less competitive in the global economy.

The NAM’s “Labor Day 2009: The Manufacturing Report” is available atwww.nam.org/labordayreport09.