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Auto Parts Suppliers Hiring as Fast as They Can

NPR Online (03/14/12) Tracy Samilton

Automakers are creating thousands of new jobs amid a sales boom, and their suppliers are racing to keep up with the industry’s growth, adding tens of thousands of new jobs. In a dramatic reversal, many suppliers, after improving efficiency—through downsizing and buyouts—find themselves short-handed.

With the memory of the recent deep recession still so fresh, companies are still wary about hiring too freely. However, Sean McAlinden—an economist with the Center for Automotive Research—says there actually is a danger of having a shortage of parts and workers. He says the supplier industry will need 174,000 additional workers by 2015, and the pace of hiring right now appears to be too slow.