Carmakers' rebound is driving jobs in U.S.

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cough ::President Obama":: cough. Ahem, wonder what kind of pickle we would be in if PBO had done what the R"s wanted on this?

Taxpayers bailed out much of the U.S. auto industry. Now the carmakers might be what saves the nation's economy from falling back into recession.

After a massive restructuring and several high-profile bankruptcies, a leaner, more aggressive auto industry is making a comeback, hiring workers and ramping up manufacturing plants. From a trough two years ago, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Chrysler Group and other auto companies have added almost 90,000 manufacturing jobs, a 14% increase, according to federal employment data.

Job growth in Michigan, which was devastated by the downturn, is even more robust. That's why Michigan's jobless rate stood at 10.9% in July, well below the 12% rate of California.

And it's not just the Big Three American manufacturers that are thriving. Nissan, VW and other foreign-based firms are expanding in the United States, putting billions of dollars into building and refurbishing plants. Start-ups Tesla Motors in Palo Alto, Fisker Automotive in Anaheim and Coda Automotive in L.A. are hiring and spending hundreds of millions of dollars designing and launching electric and hybrid vehicles.

Hmm, what is this I find in my back pocket?

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