US auto sector employment at seven-year high

Employment in the US automotive sector is at its highest level since 2008.

Employment in the U.S. auto sector is at a seven-year high. In January 2015 alone, the market added 6,700 jobs to the auto industry, matching the previous high-water mark set back in March 2008. This accounts for almost one-third of all new manufacturing hires in January.

According to The Detroit News, 913,200 people work for an automaker or company supplying vehicle parts. Over the past year, this sector of the economy has added almost 67,000 jobs. 

Spurred in part by the falling price of gasoline, people have begun purchasing more automobiles. Last year the U.S. saw the most sales of automobiles since 2006. This trend is expected to continue throughout 2015, albeit at a reduced pace. This means that the industry needs to hire more auto workers to keep up with the rising demand.

Auto companies adding more jobs
Buoyed by the growing demand for automobiles, Ford Motor Co. announced that it will be hiring an additional 1,550 workers through March. A good majority of those jobs will be located in Michigan – specifically Dearborn – but a portion will also be based out of Kansas City, Missouri. Over the past year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Michigan saw a 5.6 percent uptick in hiring within the auto parts manufacturing sector, which leads all states in this category. Michigan also gained almost a full percentage point in its motor vehicle manufacturing.

The Brookings Institute lists jobs in the automotive area as one of 50 industries that compose the Advanced Industries Sector. This includes both the production of automobiles as well as the parts construction. Since 1975 employees in this sector, on average, have seen their earnings increase almost five times more than the median worker. This translates to a 63 percent rise in average salaries, compared to only 17 percent growth outside this field.

Despite earning significantly more than other areas, many employers in the advanced industries sector report difficulties in finding suitable workers. This holds back a company's competitiveness and doesn't allow for proper economic growth and corporate efficiencies.

The Advanced Industries Sector employs individuals from all educational levels. Indeed, more than half of all employees in this sector have obtained a bachelor's degree. However, the channels that direct potential workers into the sector – whether educational or technical – are not significant enough to fill the gaps. When seeking out a job, using a technical recruiter greatly enhances your chances to land the position best suited for you.

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