Michigan’s auto industry has its “hiring” signs out, but few are applying and some who do quit by lunchtime.

It is a nationwide problem that’s hit small mom-and-pop suppliers and reverberated to the biggest carmakers in the world.

The challenge is serious enough that the Michigan Manufacturers Association has increased its budget and brought in a new director of workforce development to aggressively promote auto manufacturing jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed by motor vehicle and parts manufacturers declined by 3,500 in January. In February, the decrease was larger, with a decline of 18,000 jobs (both figures are on a seasonally adjusted basis).