Nov 15/22

Are US Automotive Manufacturing Jobs Coming Back?

US manufacturing


The U.S. auto industry is roaring back after years of headwinds. Since 2020, auto manufacturing has been disrupted by historic events. First, the Covid-19 pandemic halted production lines.

Supply chain shortages were a byproduct of the pandemic. When production lines finally restarted, manufacturers could not produce at full capacity.

The good news is that motor vehicle manufacturing output is now higher than pre-pandemic levels. Read on for the current status of U.S. manufacturing in the auto industry. Explore topics such as trends in manufacturing and the prospects for manufacturing jobs.


Demand is still high for new vehicles in the United States. In October 2022, retail sales are expected to exceed 1 million vehicles. This represents a 12.1% growth rate from the year prior.

From an annualized perspective, new vehicle sales will surpass 15 million. This figure is 1.8 million more vehicles than in 2021.


Supply vs. demand is crucial for economic forecasts. Without strong supply and demand, manufacturing jobs are vulnerable to decline.

The good news is that, like demand, supply is also moving in a positive direction. Vehicle inventories are at their highest rate since June 2021.

Better yet, there is still plenty of room for growth. Before the pandemic, the average inventory was around 3.45 million vehicles.

In September 2022, U.S. vehicle inventory was roughly 1.23 million. To reach its prior production state, the industry is going to need more manufacturing workers.

Manufacturing Output

U.S. auto manufacturing is slowly returning back to its pre-pandemic baseline. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the auto industry is all the way back. The BLS’s motor vehicles and parts index are now higher than it was in 2019.

Manufacturing output, hours worked, and productivity is all on the rise. All have steadily increased since the third quarter of 2020. All of these figures are a positive sign for U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Economic Headwinds

There are some economic headwinds to take into consideration. Inflation is having a significant effect on the average American’s budget.

To combat record-high inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve is raising rates. Naturally, this means higher borrowing rates for auto shoppers looking to finance or lease.

Many economists believe that the global economy is dipping into a recession. High-interest rates and auto prices, coupled with recessionary conditions, could lower demand for new cars. Weakened demand would naturally result in the need for fewer jobs.

The good news for the auto industry is that this has not happened yet. Demand remains strong despite the higher interest rates. Consumer spending continues to remain constant in spite of inflationary pressure.

Your Guide to U.S. Manufacturing Jobs in the Auto Industry

There are always economic risks present. The headwinds facing the auto industry are not abnormal.

There are many positive signs to look towards. New vehicle inventory and sales are on the rise.

Manufacturing output, hours worked, and productivity is also on a steady upward climb. These factors should result in continued growth for auto manufacturing jobs.

If you are looking for work in the U.S. manufacturing industry, contact us today for job opportunities.