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November 02, 2012

Airline employment down 4.4 percent over the past five years

Payrolls at airlines shrunk 4.4 percent over the past five years, according to a new report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

U.S. carriers employed 388,992 workers in August 2012, which is 0.1 percent more than the industry's payroll in August 2011. But it is the highest employment total within the industry since 2008.

Of the network carriers, Fort Worth-based American Airlines reported the largest decline, down 7.9 percent in when comparing August 2008 to August 2012, the BTS said. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines increased its payroll 5.8 percent in August 2012 when compared to what Southwest and AirTran reported separately in August 2008.

BTS' spokesman Dave Smallen also provided Sky Talk with American's individual payroll numbers since 1990. I have included that chart, which shows American's employment each August for the past 22 years, below.

Airline employment in August from 2008-2012

Year
Network Low-Cost Regional  All Passenger Airlines
2008 276,118 62,870 60,346 406,716
2009 258,569 62,775 56,236 384,304
2010 256,122 64,022 52,179 377,835
2011 263,063 67,682 53,284 388,523
2012 262,426 69,379 52,079 388,992
Pct. Change 2008-2012 -5.0% 10.4% -13.7% -4.4%

American Airlines employment in August from 1990-2012

Year Full-time Part-time Full-time + Part-time  Full-time Equivalent*
1990 72,513 9,694 82,207 77,360
1991 76,887 11,029 87,916 82,402
1992 85,148 13,404 98,552 91,850
1993 83,306 14,498 97,804 90,555
1994 78,786 14,976 93,762 86,274
1995 78,335 12,783 91,118 84,727
1996 73,716 12,268 85,984 79,850
1997 74,977 13,358 88,335 81,656
1998 75,472 13,850 89,322 82,397
1999 80,007 14,901 94,908 87,458
2000 85,140 14,676 99,816 92,478
2001 88,665 14,177 102,842 95,754
2002 91,839 15,472 107,311 99,575
2003 75,801 12,236 88,037 81,919
2004 74,245 11,137 85,382 79,814
2005 70,200 11,409 81,609 75,905
2006 68,037 10,585 78,622 73,330
2007 67,812 10,616 78,428 73,120
2008 67,187 10,628 77,815 72,501
2009 62,959 9,692 72,651 67,805
2010 61,133 9,164 70,297 65,715
2011 61,831 8,942 70,773 66,302
2012 59,655 8,193 67,848 63,752

-Andrea Ahles

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