Three years after the U.S. auto industry nearly collapsed, sales of cars and trucks are surging. Sales could exceed 14 million this year, compared with last year's 12.8 million.
The result: Car makers are adding shifts and hiring thousands of employees around the country.
Car makers and parts companies added more than 38,000 jobs last year, with industry employment averaging 717,000 in 2011.
Automakers have announced plans to add 13,000 more this year, mostly on night shifts.
The hiring is good news for communities around the country that lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. Starting in 2005, GM, Ford, and Chrysler closed 28 factories and eliminated 88,000 jobs. Parts companies cut 234,000 other jobs.
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