NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday"

Auto Industry Turmoil Adds to Job Market Woes

Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen speaks with Gary Burtless about the potential impact from massive job losses in the auto industry.

Liane Hansen:
From NPR news this is weekend edition I’m Liane Hansen . In the past two months more than a million jobs across the United States have disappeared the big three automakers are in critical condition which means millions more are on the brink. Gary Burtless is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution who is joining us by phone. Good Morning.

If Ford, Chrysler or GM were to fail what’s your estimate about how many jobs will be directly effected?

Gary Burtless:
I think that almost a million, the big three themselves employ little less than a quarter million workers and people who work in parts supplies factories, and the folks who work in the dealership that sell theses brands in total employ another million or so workers.

Liane Hansen:
And it seems as though it will be different layers in the company.

Gary Burtless:
If the companies completely disappear of course there is no refuge for any of the employees of the big three. For the dealerships some of those employees can save their jobs by working to repair all the old cars that are out there lots of repairs get done, but for people selling new vehicles of course there is nothing more to be done. There no new vehicles coming out of the assembly line to sell.

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