Americans Getting Into Cars, Back to Work

In the past, we have written about the strong correlation between car ownership and the unemployment rate. When more people have cars, unemployment is usually down because more job opportunities are open to them. A job hunter who owns a car is not limited to places along public transit routes, and once they get the job, they can be more reliable than an employee who hopes the bus is running on time.

The latest jobs report, which was released this week, showed that this correlation still holds true. Unemployment has dropped to 7.8 percent while car sales have continued to go up throughout 2012.

Now, some people will say that this correlation doesn’t suggest that car ownership leads to better job security and will take the other side of this “chicken-or-the-egg” debate. They will claim that because more people are employed, more people have the money to spend on a new car, and they would be partly right. Yes, some car buyers are just looking to upgrade their ride or buy a car that is more luxury than necessity, but take a minute and look at the auto sales numbers for 2012. There are not that many people buying a car just for fun. The economy is better, but it is not that good.

Coming out of this recession, Americans are valuing car ownership. Millions of people have been out of work, and they know the frustration of riding the bus or relying on a friend to drive them to yet another job interview. With Americans going back to work and auto loans accessible to more consumers, even those with subprime credit, it makes sense that people are strengthening their job security by getting a car now.

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Image courtesy of xedos4 /