AP: Volkswagen opened a plant in Tennessee last month with 2,000 workers. Honda is hiring 1,000 in Indiana to meet demand for its best-selling Civic. General Motors is looking for 2,500 in Detroit to build the Chevy Volt.
Two years after the end of the Great Recession, the auto industry is hiring again – and much faster than the rest of the economy … The hiring spree is even more remarkable because memories of the U.S. auto industry’s near-death experience are fresh. In 2009, General Motors and Chrysler both got government bailouts and entered bankruptcy, and auto sales hit a 30-year low.
In June of that year, about 623,000 people were employed by the auto industry in the United States, the fewest since the early 1980s. Now the figure is almost 700,000, a 12 percent increase.
Sales are back up, too, and automakers are hiring by the thousands to meet increased demand.
…Besides hiring 2,000 people itself, Volkswagen figures the plant, where it will make its new Passat, will create 9,000 spin-off jobs in the region, including 500 at auto-supplier plants that are springing up nearby.
…. The auto gains have been widespread, with the Midwest the biggest beneficiary. In Ohio alone, auto manufacturing jobs have risen 31 percent the past two years, while parts makers in Michigan have added nearly 20,000 jobs …. Parts jobs are also up 15 percent in Alabama and in Kentucky…
… GM, Ford and Chrysler are all making money for the first time since the mid-2000s and adding workers to build popular models like the revamped Ford Explorer….
…Auto companies are racing to hire white-collar workers, too. Monster.com has more than 100 postings for auto engineers, including a handful for Hyundai and Subaru. Electric batteries, touch-screen dashboards and other technology are becoming more common, so automakers need engineers with expertise.
…”I really do believe that we are seeing a renaissance in the American automobile industry,” says James Brock, a professor of economics at Miami University.
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