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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Cargo and Passenger Airlines Add 4,752 Jobs in April 2022 for New COVID-19 Pandemic High; Employment Remains 2.2% Above Pre-Pandemic April 2019

Friday, June 10, 2022

BTS 26-22

Scheduled passenger airlines add 5,137 full-time equivalents for 12th consecutive month of job growth


U.S. Airline Employees Headcount (Full-time and Part-time Employees)

U.S. airline industry (passenger and cargo airlines combined) employment increased to 751,165 workers in April 2022, 4,752 (0.64%) more workers than in March 2022 (746,413) and 16,178 (2.20%) more than in pre-pandemic April 2019 (734,987). 

U.S. scheduled-service passenger airlines employed 470,317 workers in April or 63% of the industry-wide total. Passenger airlines added 5,448 employees in April for a twelfth consecutive month of job growth dating back to May 2021. Southwest led scheduled passenger carriers, adding 1,457 employees; Delta Airlines added 1,380 employees, and United Airlines added 1,404. U.S. cargo airlines employed 277,575 workers in April, 37% of the industry total. Cargo carriers added 330 employees in April. FedEx, the leading air cargo employer, increased employment by 478 jobs.

U.S. Airline Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs)

BTS calculates FTEs by dividing the number of part-time employees by 2 and adding that figure to the number of full-time employees. The April industry-wide numbers include 642,877 full-time and 108,288 part-time workers for a total of 697,021 FTEs, an increase from March of 4,889 FTEs (0.71%). April’s total number of FTEs remains just 3.08% above pre-pandemic April 2019’s 676,210 FTEs.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 248,183 FTEs in April, up 670 FTEs (0.27%) from March. U.S. cargo airlines have increased FTEs by 22,226 (9.84%) since pre-pandemic April 2019.

The 26 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reporting data for April 2022 employed 445,582 FTEs, 5,137 FTEs (1.17%) more than in March 2022. April’s total number of scheduled passenger airline FTEs remains 1,050 FTEs (0.23%) below pre-pandemic April 2019. Data by passenger carrier category can be found in the accompanying tables.

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of June 9, 2022. Additional airline employment data and previous releases can be found on the BTS website.

Passenger, cargo, and charter 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. Regulations require U.S. airlines to report employment numbers for employees who worked or received pay for any part of the pay period(s) ending nearest the 15th day of the month.

See the tables that accompany this release on the BTS website for detailed data since 2015 (Tables 1-15) and industry summary monthly data since 1990. 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 April 2022.

The next update for U.S. airline employment is scheduled for July 12.