Automotive Employment Decomposed: New Vs. Used Car Dealers

Sep. 07, 2017 3:17 AM ETCARZ
David Ruggles profile picture
David Ruggles
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By Mike Smitka

Employments is centered in new car dealers and parts manufacturers.

Scott Wood of Carvana asked me about the increase in employment in automotive retail. With a bit of poking, I found that the Current Employment Survey (CES) run by the BLS provides fairly detailed breakdowns. Now, I very strongly suspect that in the survey responses, employees at a new car dealer are not subdivided into those who work in service versus finance versus new sales versus used sales. All are likely classed by the main business category of new car sales. Still, this provides a starting point. As it happens, while used car dealership employees have risen faster in number, the bulk of the increase in employment stems from the rise in new car dealership employees. While I'm at it, I also am posting (i) car versus parts/accessories/tires and (ii) assembly versus parts manufacturing. As expected - well, at least by me! - people who work in parts plants vastly outnumber those at "the" car companies. The latter get the political attention, but they're not the ones who "make" cars, they just put together the pieces.

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David Ruggles profile picture
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Mike Smitka has followed the industry (and the Japanese and Chinese economies) for 30+ years. David Ruggles has worked in every phase of the retail side: new and used, sales and management, lease financing and consulting in both US and Japan.

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