Microchips aren't the only shortage roiling the auto industry right now: Workers are also in short supply, from the tiniest Tier 3 supplier to the shop floor of the biggest assembly plants to the showrooms and service bays of dealerships nationwide.
And just as it has with microchips, the industry as a whole finds itself competing for an unexpectedly scarce resource with other businesses eager to fill holes in their own value chains. To improve their odds in the face of stiff competition, auto industry employers will need to be more creative and open-minded.
As veteran Automotive News journalist Lindsay Chappell detailed, the number of motor vehicle employees grew over the summer, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, but still remains far below where the industry stood at the start of the pandemic.
Drilling down on the automotive supply chain, U.S. auto plants and suppliers have 73,400 fewer workers on the job than they did when the pandemic arrived in March 2020. That's almost 1 in 5 of the 378,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs lost over that period.
While America faces a "Great Resignation" of dissatisfied workers, the auto industry can open welcoming new doors to potential employees as it reconsiders a range of expectations.