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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 4,889 Jobs in October 2022; Employment Remains 4.9% Above Pre-Pandemic October 2019

Monday, December 12, 2022

BTS 54-22

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

U.S. airline industry (passenger and cargo airlines combined) employment increased to 782,752 workers in October 2022, 4,889 (0.63%) more workers than in September 2022 (777,863) and 36,206 (4.85%) more than in pre-pandemic October 2019 (746,546). 

U.S. scheduled-service passenger airlines employed 497,287 workers in October or 64% of the industry-wide total. Passenger airlines added 3,587 employees in October for an eighteenth consecutive month of job growth dating back to May 2021. United led scheduled passenger carriers, adding 1,472 employees; Southwest Airlines added 1,107; and Delta added 488. 

U.S. cargo airlines employed 280,773 workers in October, 36% of the industry total. Cargo carriers gained 1,305 employees in October.  FedEx, the leading air cargo employer, increased employment by 1,062 jobs.



Scheduled passenger airlines add 3,398 full-time equivalents in October for 18th 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 October industry-wide numbers include 670,696 full-time and 112,056 part-time workers for a total of 726,724
 FTEs, an increase from September of 4,162 FTEs (0.57%).  October’s total number of FTEs remains just 5.66% above pre-pandemic October 2019’s 687,826 FTEs.

The 25 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reporting data for October 2022 employed 470,428 FTEs, 3,398 FTEs (0.73%) more than in September 2022. October’s total number of scheduled passenger airline FTEs is 18,076 FTEs (4.00%) above pre-pandemic October 2019. Data by passenger carrier category can be found in the accompanying tables.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 251,714 FTEs in October, up 656 FTEs (0.26%) from September. U.S. cargo airlines have increased FTEs by 20,456 (8.85%) since pre-pandemic October 2019.



Reporting Notes
Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of December 5, 2022. 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 October 2022.

Missing carriers: 2HQ (Elite), 34Q (Polaris Aviation Solutions), AMQ (Ameristar), WL (World Atlantic dba Caribbean Sun) and XP(Avelo).

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 January 9, 2023.