Auto industry in need of 190,000 more jobs, analysts say image

The recovering U.S. auto industry will need to add about 190,000 jobs by 2015, according to the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

Analysts expect most of the employees to be in the parts sector, with the majority to be employed in Michigan. Current U.S. auto employment is about 590,000, 130,000 of which are based in Michigan. In the next four years, the center expects employment to grow to about 756,800. About 52 percent of U.S. autoworkers are in Michigan and by 2015 their ratio is expected to reach two-thirds. Analysts base their predictions on labor agreements between the United Auto Workers and General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

The four-year contracts have been praised for keeping automakers’ labor costs competitive with foreign rivals while committing to plants and jobs. “Overall they held the line on costs and put more money in workers’ pockets,” CAR labor expert Kristin Dziczek was quoted by the Detroit News. For 2012, the center estimates U.S. auto employment to grow by 60,000.

Half of these new jobs are for GM, Ford and Chrysler, which are expected to employ about 201,000 workers in the U.S. over the next four years, including 135,000 in Michigan. Suppliers will need about 150,000 workers to satisfy demand if annual U.S. sales return to 15 million in four years, the center said.