The jobs were there, more than 1,000, according to the Engineering Society of Detroit, with everyone from the Detroit automakers to Korea’s Hyundai looking to hire. What, or more precisely, who weren’t there were the job-seekers.
March was another good month for the U.S. auto industry, which is expected to report another month of double-digit, year-over-year sales gains today. After years, of cutting back production – closing dozens of plants and eliminating an estimated 88,000 jobs during the Great Recession – that means automakers are racing to build back up production capacity. They’re also looking to fill empty slots in design, engineering and other departments cut to the bone during the industry’s worst downturn in decades.
Detroit makers alone have created 10s of thousands of jobs since hitting bottom in 2009 with the bankruptcy of Chrysler and General Motors. And their foreign-owned rivals are also putting out the “Help Wanted” signs. Volkswagen is already planning a second round of hiring at its new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. BMW is expanding at its factory in South Carolina. Hyundai’s Alabama assembly line needs more help to meet booming demand.