DETROIT, United States (AP) — Defying a wave of layoffs that has sent the US job market into its worst catastrophe on record, at least one major industry is making a comeback: Tens of thousands of auto workers are returning to factories that have been shuttered since mid-March due to fears of spreading the coronavirus.
About 133,000 US workers — just over half of the industry's workforce before the pandemic — are expected to pour back into auto plants that will open in the coming week, according to estimates by The Associated Press.
At Ford, where about 47,000 US factory workers will return by next week, there's optimism that consumer demand will accompany them.
The pandemic has affected over 1.1 million European auto industry workers, almost half the sector's manufacturing jobs.
Some US automakers, like General Motors (GM), are restarting slowly, only bringing back workers on one shift in factories, some of which ran around the clock before the pandemic.