Mid-December U.S. Airline Industry Employment Up 16,000 Employees from Mid-November

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Airline Employment Trends

U.S. airlines employed 694,638 workers in the middle of December 2020, 16,351 more than in mid-November 2020 (678,287) but 60,389 fewer than in March 2020. The December total was the highest since September (702,068) before the expiration of the CARES Act which prohibited layoffs by airlines receiving funds.

U.S. airlines employed 694,638 workers in the middle of December 2020, 16,351 more than in mid-November 2020 (678,287) but 60,389 fewer than in March 2020. The December total was the highest since September (702,068) before the expiration of the CARES Act which prohibited layoffs by airlines receiving funds.

American Airlines reported an increase of 10,631 employees in December from November.

The December industry numbers consist of 579,042 full-time and 115,596 part-time workers.

Regulations require airlines to report employment numbers to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for employees who worked or received pay for any part of the pay period(s) ending nearest the 15th day of the month. Numbers include all paid employees but do not include employees not being paid.

Total employment (full-time + part-time) by U.S. airlines (passenger + cargo carriers):

December 2019                       752,565                      

November 2020                      678,287

December 2020                       694,638

Major Airlines' Total Employees, March 2020 and December 2020

Includes Full-time and Part-time Employees

 

Mar-20

Dec-20

Change in

Employees

Percent

Change

Alaska

17,912

16,643

-1,269

-7.1

Allegiant

4,487

4,157

-330

-7.4

American

109,108

101,005

-8,103

-7.4

Atlas

3,121

3,487

366

11.7

Delta

89,980

62,786

-27,194

-30.2

Envoy

16,781

15,380

-1,401

-8.3

Federal Express

245,010

269,625

24,615

10.0

Frontier

5,181

5,011

-170

-3.3

Hawaiian

7,492

5,278

-2,214

-29.6

JetBlue

21,546

18,982

-2,564

-11.9

Kalitta

2,013

2,192

179

8.9

Polar Air Cargo

226

235

9

4.0

Republic

6,519

5,754

-765

-11.7

SkyWest

20,544

19,221

-1,323

-6.4

Southwest

62,081

57,574

-4,507

-7.3

Spirit

9,213

9,175

-38

-0.4

United

91,563

62,585

-28,978

-31.6

United Parcel Service 6,279 6,461 182 2.9
Major Airline Total 719,056 665,551 -53,505 -7.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Airline Employment Data (P1a)

Major Carrier: Over $1 billion annual operating revenue

Additional individual airline numbers are available on the BTS airline employment web page. The web page provides full-time and part-time employment numbers by carrier by month from 1990 through December 2020.

Reports are from all U.S. airlines including scheduled passenger, charter and cargo that meet the reporting standard. Airlines that operate at least one aircraft that has more than 60 seats or the capacity to carry a payload of passengers, cargo and fuel weighing more than 18,000 pounds must report monthly employment statistics.

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