In a documented testament to the job growth efforts of the White House, a recent report says federal fuel economy deadlines have driven a hiring surge in the automotive industry.
Fuel economy efforts drive hiring
The Obama Administration is poised to announce its final fuel economy rules on August 15. Those standards are to be phased in incrementally between now and 2025, when all U.S.-sold vehicles are mandated to achieve 54.5 miles per gallon.
In an effort to meet those standards, the auto industry has added 236,000 jobs since June, 2009, according to a new report from www.drivinggrowth.org. The project is a joint effort of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and the League of Conservation Voters.
The rising cost of gas, among other factors, has also increased consumer demand for fuel economy. That, said the report, has also helped spurr the hiring spike in the auto industry.
“Consumer Reports” said in May that fuel economy is the number one factor consumers consider when buying a new car. A separate study commissioned by Ford came to the same conclusion, according to AOL Autos.
Automakers have responded to that demand by more than doubling the number of fuel-efficient models in the last three years, according to the industry tracking firm Baum and Associates.
Breaking it down
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, automakers and parts makers have hired 165,000 new employees since 2009. That is more than a 26 percent increase.
As demand has grown, said the report, auto dealers have also added more than 71,000 new jobs since 2009.
The job growth was most pronounced, said www.drivinggrowth.org, in the Midwest, where much of the automotive industry is concentrated. Indiana, Michigan and Ohio accounted for more than 66,000 of the new hires.
Tiffany Ingram, Midwest advocacy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said:
“Setting strong fuel efficiency standards means we are sending more of our energy dollars to the Midwest, not the Middle East.”
The remaining new automotive industry jobs were spread over 43 other states.
In conclusion, the report noted that auto sales have been brisk and are expected to rise. As a result, automakers are looking ahead with optimism:
“Automakers, their suppliers and their dealers are now looking ahead to a brighter future after the dark days of the recession.”