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Auto Jobs: Sign of the Times

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It should not come as a surprise with unemployment over 8% that good paying jobs in manufacturing are harder than ever to land.

At the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama more than 20,000 people have applied for one of the 877 job openings.

The surge of people applying may seem unusual, but it's not.

Take a look:

  • Last summer Ford had more than 18,000 people apply for one of 1,800 jobs at the retooled Louisville plant. That plant will open and start building the Edge SUV in mid-June.
  • In 2011, more than 41,000 applied for one of the 1,300 positions at the new Toyota plant in Tupelo, Mississippi.
  • In 2009, more than 65,000 applied for one of the 2,700 jobs at the new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN. Since opening, that plant has added shifts and is currently hiring another 820 workers.

There's no doubt the recession and the fact so many Americans are still out of work was the primary factor driving the waves of people applying for jobs at auto plants.

Another huge factor is the type of jobs being offered. Good pay and benefits with solid companies in an industry set for steady growth over the next 3-5 years. Those jobs are hard to find in blue-collar America.

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___________________________ Questions? Comments?BehindTheWheel@cnbc.comand Follow me on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews

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