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September 2012: Auto Manufacturing Cities Have Hiring Growth, Nation Slows

Auto manufacturing cities saw increased hiring in September. By

Cities active in the automobile industry were the biggest gainers in managerial hiring in September, according to the new CareerCast/JobSerf Employment Index. St. Louis, Indianapolis and Detroit all added white-collar jobs in September, bucking the national trend as hiring fell 10.1 index points following an an 11.1 point August increase.

The automotive industry has added nearly 60,000 jobs from a year ago, and over 125,000 since bottoming out in July 2009, with September serving as the latest positive month for employment growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“The Auto comeback can be seen in the per capita hiring increases in cities with major Big 3 Plants and suppliers,” says JobSerf CEO Jay Martin. “Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Nashville and Louisville have had a 41% higher increase than the rest of the nation compared to January 2010, and Detroit’s per capita hiring improved an impressive 98% higher than the average for the nation.” St. Louis had the best hiring month in the nation with a 7% increase, while Indianapolis boasted a 3% rate and Detroit added 2%.

At 7.3% and 7.8%, the Nashville and Indianapolis unemployment rates are below the national average. St. Louis and Louisville hover right around the national average at 8.2% and 8.3%. Detroit is on a slow descent from one of the highest unemployment rates of any metropolitan area at 11.9%.

Nationally, managerial hiring activity fell following a dramatic August increase of almost 10%. The JobSerf index still demonstrates growth since the outset of the recession, albeit slowed growth. “The level of jobs for managerial positions fell back to where it had been in the two months before August, which is not terrible, but is not signaling a dramatic recovery,” Martin says.

“Election cycles provide uncertainty for the hiring market, but this level of hiring is still strong, though [it’s] not enough to make major reductions in unemployment anytime soon.” September’s decrease is comparable to April, when hiring slowed after sizeable increases in February and March similar to that of August.

So, how do we determine these numbers?

The Employment Index calculates the number of available managerial job openings each month by surveying wide range of local and national job boards across the U.S, with all results hand-counted and checked for duplication by a team of researchers. What does an overall Index score of 103.5 for September 2012 mean? The Index measures employment activity against a base score of 100, which represents the volume of job openings during the same period in 2008. A score higher than 100 means that there are more available jobs than in 2008, while one below 100 means that job seekers now have fewer opportunities available. Over the past 55 months, the Index is higher at 103.5 than in September of 2008.


  • USA Hiring Index, January 2008 - September 2012
Index Month Index Score Monthly Change
September 2012 103.5 -10.1
August 2012 113.6 +11.1
July 2012 102.5 -1.2
June 2012 103.7 +6.2
May 2012 97.5 -3.8
April 2012 101.3 -15.3
March 2012 116.9 +9.9
February 2012 107.0 +12.0
January 2012 95.0 -0.1
December 2011 95.1 -8.4
November 2011 103.5 -0.9
October 2011 104.4 +1.8
September 2011 102.6 -5.0
August 2011 107.6 +9.4
July 2011 98.2 -2.1
June 2011 100.3 -0.2
May 2011 100.5 -10.1
April 2011 110.6 +1.1
March 2011 109.5 +5.2
February 2011 104.3 +0.6
January 2011 103.7 +3.8
December 2010 99.9 -6.0
November 2010 105.9 +6.4
October 2010 99.5 -0.1
September 2010 99.6 -2.7
August 2010 102.3 -4.6
July 2010 106.9 +14.3
June 2010 92.6 +3.6
May 2010 89.0 -3.3
April 2010 92.3 +1.9
March 2010 90.4 +7.1
February 2010 83.3 +12.5
January 2010 70.8 -3.1
December 2009 73.9 +0.2
November 2009 73.7 +5.9
October 2009 67.8 -0.6
September 2009 68.4 -11.4
August 2009 79.8 +1.6
July 2009 78.2 +17.8
June 2009 60.4 +3.8
May 2009 56.6 +15.2
April 2009 41.4 -2.7
March 2009 44.1 -5.4
February 2009 49.5 -12.2
January 2009 61.7 -4.5
December 2008 66.2 -10.9
November 2008 77.1 +3.7
October 2008 73.4 -14.3
September 2008 87.7 -18.0
August 2008 105.7 +5.4
July 2008 100.3 -2.3
June 2008 102.6 +6.8
May 2008 95.8 +1.6
April 2008 94.2 -15.1
March 2008 109.3 +0.3
February 2008 109.0 +8.7
January 2008 100.3 +/-0


Detroit, Indianapolis and St. Louis were among the top hiring cities in September. Seattle and San Diego dipped. Read more for a complete regional breakdown.

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Some manufacturers are still

Some manufacturers are still hiring, but the industry's resurgence is losing some steam after a strong start earlier this year.Manufacturing accounted for 16% of new U.S. jobs in the first seven months of this year, exceeding the industry's 9% share of overall employment. Now employers are growing cautious as they see slowing economies in Europe and China and await the outcome of next month's U.S. elections."From this point forward, we're in a choppier season," says Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers. regards.





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