It's official: North American employment at the Detroit 3 has been cut in half in this dismal decade.
That's more than 250,000 jobs in eight years — vanished. And it doesn't count jobs that have disappeared at suppliers or dealers.
Most of the losses have come since the middle of the decade. Since 2005, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC have shed about 142,000 jobs. Last year the Detroit 3 cut 53,551 jobs in North America or almost 18 percent of their combined work force in the region.
And the trend isn't abating.
"When we talk about job protection, we're not talking about saving all the jobs that exist at the moment," says James Rubenstein, a consultant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. "It's about making sure at least some jobs are left. Any number is better than zero."