Washington — The U.S. auto sector added 5,000 jobs in May to hit its highest level since August 2008 to nearly 850,000 jobs.
Automakers and parts companies have added 35,000 jobs over the last year to 848,600, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Since July 2009, when the sector fell to 623,900 jobs — as General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC exited bankruptcy — the auto industry has added back 225,000 jobs.
Auto sales were up 11 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted pace of nearly 16.8 million vehicles — the third strong month in a row — and are on pace for their best year since 2008.
At the same time, auto dealership employment is also up. Auto dealers added 6,800 jobs in May to 1.17 million and have added nearly 43,000 jobs over the last year.