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Ford debt may be in 'junk' territory but the automaker is on an engineer hiring spree

2 months ago by Jon Marino in Markets

Ford ($NYSE:F) stock fell more than 4% Tuesday morning September 10 after Moody's Investors Service downgraded the company's debt to junk status. The automaker's shares are down more than 40% in the last five years, a massive failure held against market benchmarks that are pointing in the opposite direction over the same timeframe.

However, the company is doubling down on.....corporate staff. 

Our first chart tracks Ford's job postings for corporate roles - which has risen more than 70% since the beginning of 2019. It comes contrasted against the news the company has also cut hundreds of corporate roles in an attempt to right-size itself, once again. It has also cut positions in Brazil and in Europe. And - it's still under pressure in the US-China trade war. 

A further look at the data signals that Ford isn't going for its traditional corporate employee, either.

No, Ford is loading up on job postings for people with Engineering and Engineer capabilities, according to our data filters. That is what our second chart - above - represents, an increase from 130 to 311 job postings in this category, or more than double. And, it's not just for a single role - Ford Engineer job postings cover everything from algo devs to chassis engineers, signaling that it is betting on putting more tech in their cars from bumper to bumper. 

Last but not least - Ford also appears to be loading up on more designers. Ford Design/Designer job postings rose more than 150% this year. We can tell from other data (not shown) that it has reduced job postings for data scientists - perhaps as it fills the roles - but the Ford of the future is going to run a little bit leaner, and with a better focus on tech, according to the data. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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