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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

August Airline Industry Employment Edges Up from July, Remains 3.2% Below Pre-Pandemic August 2019

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Largest passenger airlines add 4,320 jobs in August

 

U.S. airlines employed 718,407 workers in August 2021, which is 0.3% (2,454) more workers than in July 2021, but 3.2% (23,919) fewer than in pre-pandemic August 2019.

The August industry numbers consist of 613,657 full-time and 104,750 part-time workers, an increase from July of 5,238 full-time and a decrease of 2,784 part-time workers.

Major passenger airlines added 4,320 employees in August. As of August, the largest passenger airlines are operating with 63,341 fewer employees than at the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. United Airlines has dropped 20,025 workers, Delta Air Lines 14,896, and American Airlines 9,820. Major cargo airlines are operating with 21,761 more employees, with Federal Express having added 20,630. Major cargo airline employment fell by 1,288 employees from July.

 

 

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

August 2019: 743,326
August 2020: 704,078
July 2021: 715,953 (revised)
August 2021: 718,407

 

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

 

Mar. 2020

Aug. 2021

Change in Employees

Percent Change

Alaska

17,912

17,666

-246

-1.37%

Allegiant

4,487

4,489

2

0.04%

American

109,108

99,288

-9,820

-9.00%

Atlas

3,121

3,559

438

14.03%

Delta

89,980

75,084

-14,896

-16.55%

Envoy

16,781

15,070

-1,711

-10.20%

Federal Express

245,010

265,640

20,630

8.42%

Frontier

5,181

5,350

169

3.26%

Hawaiian

7,492

6,106

-1,386

-18.50%

JetBlue

21,546

19,328

-2,218

-10.29%

Kalitta

2,013

2,334

321

15.95%

Polar Air Cargo

226

239

13

5.75%

Republic

6,519

5,935

-584

-8.96%

SkyWest

20,544

15,241

-5,303

-25.81%

Southwest

62,081

54,512

-7,569

-12.19%

Spirit

9,213

9,459

246

2.67%

United

91,563

71,538

-20,025

-21.87%

United Parcel Service

6,279

6,638

359

5.72%

Major Airline Total

719,056

677,476

-41,580

-5.78%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Airline Employment Data (P1a)
Major Carrier: Over $1 billion annual operating revenue

 

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.

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 August 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 November 9. The BTS press release on full-time equivalent employment for scheduled passenger airlines through August, with historic comparisons and summary tables will be issued October 18.

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