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Passenger Airline Employment

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Mid-May Airline Employment Down 20,000 from Mid-April

Date: Friday, July 10, 2020

U.S. airlines employed 696,534 workers in the middle of May 2020, 20,100 fewer than in mid-April 2020 and 42,282 fewer than in May 2019. The May 2020 numbers consist of 588,802 full-time and 107,732 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.

The May 2020 number of total employees was the lowest for the airlines since April 2017 when there were 694,182 employees.

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

May 2019                                738,816          
April 2020                               716,694
May 2020                                696,534

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 May 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.

The next web update for full-time and part-time employment is scheduled for Aug. 6. The BTS press release on full-time equivalent employment for scheduled passenger airlines through May, with historic comparisons and summary tables, will be issued July 20.


Updated: Friday, July 10, 2020