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 Find the latest Coronavirus-related transportation statistics on the BTS COVID-19 landing page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

July Airline Industry Employment Ticks Up Nearly 1% from June, Remains 3.7% Below Pre-Pandemic July 2019

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Contact: BTSNews@dot.gov

 

Cargo airlines add 23,049 employees since pandemic

 

U.S. airlines employed 715,312 workers in July 2021, which is 0.8% (5,634) more workers than in June 2021, but 3.7% (27,728) fewer than in pre-pandemic July 2019.

The July industry numbers consist of 607,805 full-time and 107,507 part-time workers, an increase from June of 8,755 full-time and a decrease of 3,121 part-time workers.

As of July, the largest passenger airlines are operating with 67,661 fewer employees than at the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. United Airlines has dropped 21,278 workers, Delta Air Lines 16,476, and American Airlines 9,955. Major cargo airlines are operating with 23,049 more employees, with Federal Express having added 21,961.

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):

July 2019: 743,040
July 2020: 703,550
June 2021: 709,678
July 2021: 715,312

Major Airlines' Total Employees, March 2020 (COVID-19 onset) vs July 2021
Includes Full-time and Part-time Employees

 

20-Mar

21-Jul

Change in Employees

Percent
Change

Alaska

17,912

16,751

-1,161

-6.48%

Allegiant

4,487

4,417

-70

-1.56%

American

109,108

99,153

-9,955

-9.12%

Atlas

3,121

3,547

426

13.65%

Delta

89,980

73,504

-16,476

-18.31%

Envoy

16,781

15,111

-1,670

-9.95%

Federal Express

245,010

266,971

21,961

8.96%

Frontier

5,181

5,260

79

1.52%

Hawaiian

7,492

6,078

-1,414

-18.87%

JetBlue

21,546

19,209

-2,337

-10.85%

Kalitta

2,013

2,320

307

15.25%

Polar Air Cargo

226

249

23

10.18%

Republic

6,519

5,867

-652

-10.00%

SkyWest

20,544

14,983

-5,561

-27.07%

Southwest

62,081

54,812

-7,269

-11.71%

Spirit

9,213

9,316

103

1.12%

United

91,563

70,285

-21,278

-23.24%

United Parcel Service

6,279

6,611

332

5.29%

Major Airline Total

719,056

674,444

-44,612

-6.20%

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 July 2021.

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.

The next web update for full-time and part-time employment is scheduled for October 7. The BTS press release on full-time equivalent employment for scheduled passenger airlines through July, with historic comparisons and summary tables will be issued September 20.

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