After Years of Growth, Automakers Are Cutting U.S. Jobs

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SOLIHULL, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Robotic systems work on the chassis of a car during an automated stage of production at the Jaguar Land Rover factory on March 1, 2017 in Solihull, England. The company has pledged it's 'heart and soul' to production in the UK after producing the new "Velar" model for global sale, at their Solihull factory. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

After a prolonged recovery that culminated in two years of record sales, the American auto industry is slowing down, with fewer buyers in dealer showrooms and fewer workers on the factory floor.

Automakers said this week that sales dropped in June for a sixth consecutive month, falling by 3 percent from a year ago, a trend that analysts do not see letting up anytime soon. And as demand falls, there is less work in the nation’s auto-assembly plants — primarily those that build traditional passenger cars.

Last year, those plants hit a peak of 211,000 workers, a 55 percent increase since the depths of the recession in 2009. That figure has dropped by more than 2 percent so far this year, to 206,000 workers in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and could shrink further as sales continue to fall.

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