General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC have shed about 142,000 jobs in three year. In 2008, the Big Three cut 53,551 jobs in North America or almost 18 percent of their combined work force in the region, Autonews reported. In 2008 the biggest jobcut session came for Chrysler, which cut its hourly work force by 27.5 percent and its salaried work force by 33.5 percent. Chrysler's total North American employment dropped 31.1 percent to 52,581 in 2008 from 76,332 in 2007.
Ford reduced its hourly work force by 18.4 percent and its salaried work force by 7.8 percent. Its total work force dropped 15.5 percent to 75,200 while GM estimates its total North American labor force fell 11.5 percent to 123,000. The Big Three are not alone in cutting jobs. Nissan, Mercedes and Mitsubishi plants in the United States also offered buyouts to workers last year.
It is not all bad news though. One of the only two carmakers that announced increased sales in January 2009, Kia Motors Corp. is hiring about 2,500 workers for its assembly plant in West Point, where production is scheduled to begin in November. But all things considered, the situation looks grim. New vehicle production, sales and jobs related to automobile use account for one of every ten jobs in the United States. And this is the industry that togheter with the financial system took the hardest hit. And it is not over yet.