November 28, 2007
Between 1992 and 2006, the Midwest’s auto parts manufacturing industry lost about 52,200 jobs, or 12.7 percent, of its employment. This loss was not the result of an ongoing decline; rather it was the sum of three distinct periods.
The growth years: 1992-1995. From 1992 to 1995, the Midwest auto parts industry experienced 3 years of continuous growth. Employment increases during this period were driven by increased demand for new domestic cars and light trucks, which rose 20.7 percent. As a result, employment expanded by more than 56,000 jobs, a gain of 13.6 percent.
The plateau period: 1995-2000. During the second half of the nineties, employment expansion in the Midwest’s auto parts industry slowed substantially. From 1995-2000, industry employment growth slowed to 4.2 percent. While the growth rate during this period was below the industry’s robust growth of the early nineties, it still represented an increase of almost 20,000 jobs.
The decline period: 2000-06. After 2000, a combination of the 2001 recession, foreign competition, domestic relocation, and increased productivity through automation contributed to a decline of jobs in the Midwest auto parts manufacturing sector. From 2000 to 2006, the sector lost more than 128,000 jobs, a decline of 26.2 percent. This decline represents a loss greater than the gain in the 1992-2000 expansion period.
These data are from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. To learn more, see "The rise and decline of auto parts manufacturing in the Midwest," by Benjamin Collins, Thomas McDonald, and Jay A. Mousa, Monthly Labor Review, October 2007.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Auto parts industry employment trends in the Midwest, 1992-2006 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/nov/wk4/art03.htm (visited May 19, 2022).