EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) A new jobs report said June was the third straight month of weak hiring, yet new car sales are on the rise.
Only 80,000 new hires were reported, leaving unemployement stuck at 8.2 percent nationally.
So far, job creation is trailing last year's pace through the first half of 2012.
Despite those job numbers, car sales rose throughout the country, including Eau Claire according to the Autodata Corporation.
Eau Claire car dealers at Chilson Automotive and Eau Claire Ford said they saw a 20 percent spike in sales for June compared to last year.
"A lot of people are upgrading not because they need to but that it makes economical sense. The rebates are good, the prices are fair, their car still has some good value. And the benefit is, 'I'm maybe gonna go down in insurance, I'm definitely gonna increase my fuel economy, I'm gonna increase my space," Eau Claire Ford used inventory manager Jason Balk said.
Prestige Kia and Mitsubishi general manager Matt Berube said his sales rose about four percent, from record high sales in 2011.
"After a few down years, the need and anticipation to upgrade vehicles has shined through," Berube said.
But the dealers said more sales don't necessarily mean the economy is getting stronger.
"Given the economy, the last two or three years, they've delayed that purchase and are now coming back into the market, basically out of need," Steve Chilson, general manager of Chilson Automotive said.
"It's not a spur of the moment thing, that's the real trend in the economy," Balk said.
Despite a slight drop in gas prices, the dealers said fuel economy is still a major factor for many buyers.