EDITOR NOTE: The CARES Act prevented, among other things, the laying-off of US airline workers despite the industry’s sudden decrease in demand. With the Act ending, the US airline industry has now dropped 36,700 jobs. What does that look like from a big-picture perspective? We now have fewer airline workers than in the 1980s (2008 being the most recent low point in airline employment). Transportation is one key indicator of the health of the economy; airlines playing a critical role. But the post-COVID economy might not resemble the economy we knew in years past. Demand for services across various industries have been significantly disrupted, rendering many industries less recognizable. In the meantime, the unemployment situation is likely to put a damper on economic recovery, for however long it lasts.
U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 9.1 percent fewer full-time equivalents in mid-October 2020 than a month earlier, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Mid-October’s total number of FTEs (368,162) was down 36,707 from mid-September 2020 (404,869 FTEs) and 91,871 from mid-March 2020. October was the lowest FTE total for any month dating from January 1990. The previous low was April 2010 (376,663 FTEs).
Mid-October’s FTEs declined nearly 86,000, an 18.9 percent drop from mid-October 2019 (454,070 FTEs).
The numbers reflect that airlines that took CARES Act funding from the government were not allowed to terminate employees until the end of September, but began to shrink their workforce once the restrictions were lifted.
Originally posted on Freightwaves