NYT Slams CAR Job Loss Numbers

nyt slams car job loss numbers

We’ve been ringing this bell for a while now, so it’s nice to see some of the big guns in the media world back us up. The New York Times has a scathing piece on the oft-cited Center for Automotive Research study on auto industry employment today, stripping the statistics of much of their bailout-justifying clout. The Times points to two significant shortcomings in the study, the first of which is that the statistics presented by CAR account for the entire industry, including those firms which build cars here but aren’t going under. As we have argued before, these statistics prove only how vital the entire auto industry is. For Detroit to claim that these numbers are somehow indicative of the amount of jobs which will be lost if the American automakers go under is beyond misleading. In fact, if the Detroit Three fessed up to the fact that the “foreign” transplants employ more Americans than they do, you would have a good sense of how “viable and relevant” they really are.

Beyond this, the Times points out that CAR’s data is outdated, having been collected between 1998 and 2001. Many, many auto industry jobs have been lost since then, mostly from the ranks of the once-big three. In fact, as AllBusiness reports, 133k jobs were lost in 2001 alone, and since then, 70k+ annual layoffs have been the norm in this industry. And though the Times decries CAR’s ties to labor, industry and government, they cite a more recent report from the center which extrapolates that half of all jobs lost in the event of a “major contraction involving one or more of the Detroit Three automakers” would be recovered by 2011. Funny how GM and Chrysler aren’t exactly pimping that finding around Capitol (capital?) Hill.

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  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Nov 19, 2008

    Here's a couple of grains of salt for the last point on possible job recovery. 1- It's CAR. 2- "extrapolates" 3- It's 2011. Nobody knows what things are going to look like come 2011. Nobody. I wasn't saying the D3 execs should be flogging this stat, but it's certainly no less misleading than the stats they are currently spreading.

  • Morea Morea on Nov 20, 2008

    With all due respect to TTAC and the NYT, a five year old with an internet connection could have figured this one out.

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