The U.S. auto industry is in for a real shot in the arm by 2015, reports the Center for Automotive Research. According to recent research, the Detroit Big Three are poised to hire as many as 30,000 additional workers over the next four years. Rebounding car and truck sales and new labor contracts made this possible, notes the Detroit Free Press.
Dusting off after industry collapse
General Motors, Ford and Chrysler expect to take on 30,000 additional hourly and salaried employees by 2015. Market share gains and successful renegotiation of labor contracts with the United Auto Workers union make workforce expansion much less costly for the Detroit Three, said CAR labor group director Kristin Dziczek.
Beyond the Big Three, Dziczek told Detroit media that she expects all U.S. automakers will reap the benefits of a rebounding market. By 2015, the total workforce is expected to increase by 28 percent to about 756,000. The peak employment level was around 1 million in 1978. Currently, it is less than 200,000.
Suppliers will struggle
While production will grow by leaps and bounds, experts predict that suppliers will have difficulty keeping up with demand. Considering the numerous difficulties global part producers have faced because of natural disasters over the past year, suppliers will continue to feel the pain.
“About 100,000 to 150,000 people need to be hired by suppliers over the next four years,” said Dziczek.
Currently, some supply plants are facing the problem of not enough work, which will likely lead to plant closures and layoffs in the short term.
Union membership set to grow
According to CAR senior economist Sean McAlinden, UAW will soon pick up as many as 10,000 new members in the recent contract agreement with the Detroit Three. By 2015, Big Three membership in the UAW will total about 120,000, which is lower than previously promised by both automakers and organized labor. That’s down from a peak of 1.5 million in 2009 and 400,000 in 2010.