U.S. Cargo and Passenger Airlines Added 1,334 Jobs in August 2022; Employment Remains 3.6% Above Pre-Pandemic August 2019


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

U.S. airline industry (passenger and cargo airlines combined) employment increased to 769,106 workers in August 2022, 1,334 (0.17%) more workers than in July 2022 (767,772) and 26,780 (3.61%) more than in pre-pandemic August 2019 (742,326). 

U.S. scheduled-service passenger airlines employed 489,404 workers in August or 64% of the industry-wide total. Passenger airlines added 2,190 employees in August for a sixteenth consecutive month of job growth dating back to May 2021. United led scheduled passenger carriers, adding 1,061 employees; Envoy Airlines added 342 employees, and Southwest Airlines added 332.  American Airlines lost 207 employees, and Delta Airlines lost 282 employees.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 274,966 workers in August, 36% of the industry total. Cargo carriers lost 1162 employees in August due to Atlas Air not reporting as of this release.  If their July 2022 employees of 4,345 were included, the cargo carrier’s employment would have increased for August.  FedEx, the leading air cargo employer, increased employment by 2,966 jobs.

Scheduled passenger airlines add 3,107 full-time equivalents in August for the 16th 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 August industry-wide numbers include 660,466 full-time and 108,640 part-time workers for a total of 714,786 FTEs, an increase from July of 2,217 FTEs (0.31%). August’s total number of FTEs remains just 4.63% above pre-pandemic August 2019’s 683,170 FTEs.

The 27 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reporting data for August 2022 employed 463,516 FTEs, 3,107 FTEs (0.67%) more than in July 2022. August’s total number of scheduled passenger airline FTEs is 13,477 FTEs (2.99%) above pre-pandemic August 2019. Data by passenger carrier category can be found in the accompanying tables.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 246,660 FTEs in August, down 1,203 FTEs (0.49%) from July. U.S. cargo airlines have increased FTEs by 17,124 (7.46%) since pre-pandemic August 2019.



Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of October 11, 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 August 2022.

The next update for U.S. airline employment is scheduled for November 10.

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