Ford Is On Pace to Surpass 12K New Hires Before Next Year

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Surging sales, consistent profits, and strong demand mean that Ford (NYSE:F) might — and likely will — surpass its initial hiring projections, which called for 12,000 new hires by 2015 given a United Auto Workers contract that was signed in 2011.

“The business has grown faster than we predicted it would in 2011,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, told Bloomberg on Wednesday. The company’s hiring “is definitely ahead of schedule and there’s a high probability we’ll overshoot” the 12,000 hourly jobs it committed to creating in the 2011 contract.

Ford’s most recent hire was the addition of 2,000 new employees at the Claycomo, Missouri, facility, where it builds the F-Series trucks and Transit cargo vans. Ford is investing $1.1 billion into the plant to keep up with the unrelenting demand. Despite being only four months into 2014, Ford says that it’s 75 percent complete with its pledge to hire 12,000 more employees by next year.

At the end of last year, Ford had a headcount of 84,000 employees in North America alone, nearly 10,000 more than the 75,000 that it had on its payroll at the end of 2011. The agreement signed at the time with the UAW was a four-year contract, and therefore is up for renewal next year.

Perhaps counterintuitively, the new hires help Ford keep its employment costs lower. New hires are started at just over half of the $27 per hour that veteran workers make, Bloomberg reports. More than one in five Ford U.S. hourly workers now make the lower wage, Hinrichs said to the news service, including 26 percent of the workers in Claycomo.

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