Jamie LaReau:

U.S. car dealerships are making progress in offering employees a better work-life balance, but continue to face challenges in retaining sales staff and recruiting women.
 Those were some key findings in the National Automobile Dealers Association’s third annual Dealership Workforce Study released today. Its findings are based on data collected from more than 240,000 payroll records last year.
 “The report shows a growth industry with strong earning opportunity in a challenging work environment,” said Ted Kraybill, president of ESI Trends, the Largo, Fla., firm that compiled the study for the NADA.
 The median weekly earnings at dealerships outpaced those of the overall U.S. private sector workforce, and while the industry is “often characterized as a ‘high-turnover’ work environment, actual turnover at new-car dealerships is significantly less than the private-sector average,” Kraybill said.
 Total dealership employee turnover increased from to 36 percent from 35 percent, compared with 42 percent nationally for private sector employees, said the report.