workerRising health care and insurance costs are keeping manufacturers awake at night, according to a quarterly survey by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and IndustryWeek. Other top concerns? Political uncertainty and the unfavorable business climate.

The survey found that manufacturers overwhelmingly support comprehensive immigration reform at 68.4 percent, with more than three-fourths of survey respondents saying that foreign-born workers are an integral part of the production process.

Key survey findings include the following:

• 74.0 percent of manufacturers identified rising health care and insurance costs as their top challenge. 
• 72.1 percent identified uncertainties related to the political climate as their second most important challenge.
• 67.7 percent identified the unfavorable business climate due to taxes and regulation as a top concern.

“This quarter’s survey shows manufacturers need action to address their concerns over rising health care costs, the political climate and taxes and regulation,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “It is difficult for manufacturers to gain the certainty needed to hire when Washington continues to move from one crisis to the next with no real solutions to our long-term fiscal problems. For us to see strong manufacturing growth in 2013, we need pro-growth policies from Washington to address these challenges to get our entire economy running on all cylinders.” 

The NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers was conducted among 366 manufacturers in a variety of industries and various sizes. Click here for the full survey results.