Auto dealers are fewer, bigger, and employ more workers
December 22, 1998
New and used car dealerships are a fiercely competitive, cyclically sensitive segment of retail trade. After reaching a trough in 1982, the number of employees in auto dealerships rose sharply to nearly 1.1 million in 1997. During the same period, though, the number of dealerships remained stable. As a result, the average dealership today is bigger, has more employees, and sells more cars.
In 1996, slightly more dealers sold 750 cars or more annually than sold fewer than 150 cars per year. Twenty years before, there were four times as many very small dealers than very large.
Two related factors have driven this change in the auto retailing industry: the rising popularity of new-car leasing and the appearance of the high-volume car "superstore." New car leases usually run 2 or 3 years, after which the vehicles become part of a large pool of used cars for sale, providing the stock for car "superstores." Competing with the volume selling strategy of the superstores has been one of the primary factors behind the consolidation of traditional dealerships.
The employment data in this release are a product of the Current Employment Statistics program. Additional information is available from "Auto retailing: changing trends in jobs and business, "Monthly Labor Review, October 1998.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Auto dealers are fewer, bigger, and employ more workers on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1998/dec/wk4/art02.htm (visited July 29, 2015).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
New estimates of personal taxes in Consumer Expenditure Survey
In 2013, the Consumer Expenditure Survey improved its personal tax data.
Trends in long-term unemployment
Long-term unemployment reached historically high levels following the recession of 2007–2009.
Housing: before, during, and after the Great Recession
looks at consumer expenditures on household items, employment in residential construction, prices for household items, and injuries in occupations involved in building and maintaining our homes.