The auto industry was hit hard following the recession in 2009, and franchised auto dealerships were no exception. With unemployment rates hitting record highs, it was impossible to find someone not directly or indirectly impacted by the economic downturn.

Almost five years later, auto dealership employment seems to be steadily increasing along with the improving U.S. economy.

Show Me the Proof

According to the annual report from the National Automobile Dealers Assn. (NADA) that breaks down employment, sales dollars and financial trends, franchised new-car dealership employment in 2013 totaled 1,008,800, up 3.4% from 2012.

The average dealership employed 57 people, up from 55 in 2012.

Steven Szakaly, NADA Chief Economist, foresees continued growth into 2014: “The economic recovery is continuing and we expect a stronger housing market, improving job prospects and continued low interest rates for auto loans to boost sales this year.”

More Fun Dealership Facts

Other findings in the NADA report included:

  • There was a net increase of 30 franchised new-car dealerships in 2013.
  • California had the most dealerships in 2013, totaling 1,377; Texas and Pennsylvania followed with 1,210 and 936 dealerships, respectively.
  • California was ranked first for the most employees, totaling 110,092. Texas ranked second with 94,370, and Florida was third with 67,088.

Although the recession is in the rearview mirror for many, the impact of high unemployment rates still are heavily felt across the country. The improvements to dealership employment provide hope for a positive outlook for the auto industry.

Eric Weisbrot is the marketing manager at JW Surety Bonds, the largest writer of auto dealer bonds in the U.S.