Motor Vehicle Industry Employment At 20-Year High

Employment in the motor-vehicle and equipment-manufacturing industry reached 1,005,000 during the second quarter of 1998, its highest level since 1978, according to the 1998 Economic Indicators second-quarter report released by the American Automobile Manufacturers Assn. This figure compares with 993,000 for the first quarter of 1998 and 967,000 for the same quarter in 1997.

Other highlights of the second-quarter report:

  • Sales of imported cars (automobiles built outside of North America) accounted for 15.5% of total U.S. car sales in the second quarter. This figure is down slightly from the 17% recorded for the first quarter of 1998 but significantly below the record high of 31.1% in 1987.
  • Sales of imported cars from Japan totaled 181,729, or 7.8% of U.S. car sales.
  • Consumers could expect to spend 22.8 weeks of median family earnings to buy a new car during the second quarter, down from 23.5 weeks in the same quarter of 1997.
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