Suppliers of motor-vehicle parts are the backbone of U.S. manufacturing, at least as far as jobs are concerned.
A new study concludes that the vehicle-parts sector is the biggest source of manufacturing jobs in the United States.
Vehicle-parts suppliers employ more than 734,000 American workers and contribute nearly $355 billion to the nation's gross domestic product, according to the study.
The study, conducted by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and the research firm IHS, concludes that automotive suppliers account for 2.7 percent of total U.S. employment, 2.6 percent of total U.S. wages and 2.3 percent of U.S. GDP.
The vehicle-parts industry consists of the original-equipment, aftermarket, heavy-duty and remanufacturing sectors.
The study also finds that every direct job in the industry generates another five jobs.
"With a presence in all 50 states, this industry is important to the health and success of American manufacturing, and to the future of this country," said Bob McKenna, president and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Not surprisingly, though, 37 percent of the industry's workforce is concentrated in the nation's heartland – Michigan, Ohio and Indiana – where the major automakers have a huge presence.
Michigan leads the way with 102,624 direct jobs, followed by Ohio with 89,423.
Still, there are 18 states where automotive suppliers employ more than 10,000 people, according to the study.
Among the study's other findings:
- Nearly 424,000 jobs are directly tied to suppliers of passenger-car OEMs.
- More than 171,000 jobs are directly tied to supplying heavy-duty OEMs and the heavy-duty aftermarket.
- Nearly 140,000 jobs are directly tied to supplying the automotive aftermarket.
- The top five states for direct employment – Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky – make up just under 50 percent of total direct employment.
- The total employment impact from the industry is 3.62 million employees.
"The study conducted by IHS provides valuable information for policymakers on the industry's overall impact on the U.S. economy," said McKenna. "We hope the data will be used as a resource for our nation's leaders to continue working to create a sustainable and vibrant manufacturing environment."