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February 1992

Auto industry jobs in the 1980’s: a decade of transition

Christopher J. Singleton

Employment in the industry fluctuated sharply during the decade as U.S. automakers contended with foreign competition, changing demand patterns and the business cycle. This article provides a historical overview of the U.S. automobile market, focusing on factors that affected output and employment trends during the crucial decade of the 1980's. The article describes competitive pressures faced by American automakers, and present primary issues affecting the industry's future economic vitality and employment requirements.

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