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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

Mid-February Airline Industry Employment Down 3,000 Employees from Mid-January

Thursday, April 8, 2021

U.S. airlines employed 711,554 workers in the middle of February 2021, 3,030 fewer than in mid-January 2021 (714,584 revised) and 43,541 fewer than in March 2020 (755,095 revised). The January total was the highest since April (718,385 revised).

The employment decline from January was caused primarily by United Airlines reduction of 6,135 employees. United reported 70,178 February employees, down from 76,313 in January.

The February industry numbers consist of 595,043 full-time and 116,511 part-time workers.

This release includes Air Wisconsin numbers through December 2020.  Air Wisconsin was given a revised carrier reporting status last year and has now filed monthly numbers for 2019 and 2020 but not for 2021.  Air Wisconsin reported 1,075 employees in December.

Piedmont Airlines was required to report for the first time in January 2021. Piedmont reported 8,229 employees in January and 8,291 employees in February. Piedmont numbers are not included in previous monthly totals.

 

 

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):

February 2020                         756,953          

January 2021                           714,584 (revised)

February 2021                         711,554

 

 

Major Airlines' Total Employees, March 2020 and February 2021

Includes Full-time and Part-time Employees

 

Mar-20

Feb-21

Change in Employees

Percent Change

Alaska

17,912

16,734

-1,178

-6.6

Allegiant

4,487

4,176

-311

-6.9

American

109,108

101,442

-7,666

-7.0

Atlas

3,121

3,493

372

11.9

Delta

89,980

62,588

-27,392

-30.4

Envoy

16,781

15,418

-1,363

-8.1

Federal Express

245,010

269,511

24,501

10.0

Frontier

5,181

4,952

-229

-4.4

Hawaiian

7,492

6,014

-1,478

-19.7

JetBlue

21,546

18,966

-2,580

-12.0

Kalitta

2,013

2,259

246

12.2

Polar Air Cargo

226

243

17

7.5

Republic

6,519

5,583

-936

-14.4

SkyWest

20,544

19,777

-767

-3.7

Southwest

62,081

57,344

-4,737

-7.6

Spirit

9,213

8,765

-448

-4.9

United

91,563

70,178

-21,385

-23.4

United Parcel Service

6,279

6,496

217

3.5

Major Airline Total

719,056

673,939

-45,117

-6.3

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 February 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 May 6. The BTS press release on full-time equivalent employment for scheduled passenger airlines through February, with historic comparisons and summary tables will be issued April 19.

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