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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 Added 1,036 Jobs in November 2022; Employment Remains 4.8% Above Pre-Pandemic November 2019

Friday, January 13, 2023

BTS 03-23



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

U.S. airline industry (passenger and cargo airlines combined) employment increased to 784,337 workers in November 2022, 1,036 (0.13%) more workers than in October 2022 (783,301) and 36,194 (4.84%) more than in pre-pandemic November 2019 (748,143). 

U.S. scheduled-service passenger airlines employed 498,910 workers in November or 64% of the industry-wide total. Passenger airlines added 1,118 employees in November for a nineteenth consecutive month of job growth dating back to May 2021. United led scheduled passenger carriers, adding 1,062 employees; Southwest Airlines added 941; and American added 256. 

U.S. cargo airlines employed 280,642 workers in November, 36% of the industry total. Cargo carriers lost 131 employees in November. FedEx, the leading air cargo employer, decreased employment by 233 jobs.


Scheduled passenger airlines add 1,938 full-time equivalents in November for 19th consecutive month of job growth


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 November industry-wide numbers include 673,228 full-time and 111,109 part-time workers for a total of 728,783 FTEs, an increase from October of 1,527 FTEs (0.21%).  November’s total number of FTEs remains just 5.76% above pre-pandemic November 2019’s 689,087 FTEs.

The 26 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reporting data for November 2022 employed 472,861 FTEs, 1,938 FTEs (0.41%) more than in October 2022. November’s total number of scheduled passenger airline FTEs is 20,432 FTEs (4.52%) above pre-pandemic November 2019. Data by passenger carrier category can be found in the accompanying tables.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 251,253 FTEs in November, down 461 FTEs (0.18%) from October. U.S. cargo airlines have increased FTEs by 18,866 (8.12%) since pre-pandemic November 2019.




Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of January 9, 2023. Additional 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 November 2022.

Missing carriers: 2HQ (Elite), AMQ (Ameristar), and WL (World Atlantic dba Caribbean Sun).

ExpressJet (EV) is in Chapter 11 and discontinued operations on August 22nd.  EV filed a P-1(a) report on 9/28/22 for August activity.  There are no operations to report for September and beyond.

The next update for U.S. airline employment is scheduled for February 7, 2023.