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Automotive Engineers Are in Demand

Industry increases hiring demand for engineers by 137 percent; Detroit might face talent shortage.

Two years ago, the American auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Now, it can’t find enough qualified engineers to fill the jobs it has open. As evidence, the automotive industry increased engineering jobs placed online over the past 90 days by 137 percent versus the same time period in 2010 -- and some cities, including Detroit, may experience recruitment challenges.

Engineers were the most in-demand position by auto manufacturers over the past 90 days, with more than 2,200 new jobs posted online, according to WANTED Analytics, which follows job-recruitment issues. This represents a triple-digit growth rate from the 950 jobs posted during the same time period in 2010. Detroit is currently the city with the highest demand for auto engineers. (Go figure.) There are approximately 2,700 engineers working in Detroit, meaning there are 14 currently employed candidates for every job announced over the past 90 days. In 2010, there were 17 potential candidates for every available job.

With the growth in the number of positions seeking applicants, competition for the engineering talent pool has also increased in Detroit. Recruiters looking to fill positions in this area will find it considerably more difficult than the U.S. average, based on the WANTED Analytics Hiring Scale. Never fear, though; Detroit employers may be able to source candidates in the Grand Rapids or Cleveland markets, where competition has remained low for engineering talent. Tahiti and the Seychelles are also reported to be teeming with unemployed automotive engineers, not to mention the odd locomotive engineer seeking a gig.