Down 4.5 Percent From Same Period In 2007
US scheduled passenger airlines employed 4.5 percent fewer
workers in September 2008 than in September 2007, the third
consecutive decrease in full-time equivalent employee levels for
the scheduled passenger carriers from the same month of the
previous year and the largest year-to-year decrease since July
2006, the US Department of Transportation's Bureau of
Transportation Statistics reported Tuesday.
The September FTE total of 397,400 for the scheduled passenger
carriers was the first time since BTS began keeping employment
statistics in 1997 that industry employment fell below 400,000.
All the network airlines except Alaska Airlines decreased
employment from September 2007 to September 2008, as did low-cost
carriers AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines. Regional carriers
American Eagle Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines,
Comair, Horizon Air, Mesa Airlines, and PSA Airlines also reported
reduced employment levels compared to last year.
The seven network carriers employed 268,416 FTEs in September,
67.5 percent of the passenger airline total, while low-cost
carriers employed 15.4 percent and regional carriers employed 15.0
American Airlines employed the most FTEs in September among the
network carriers, Southwest Airlines employed the most among
low-cost carriers, and American Eagle employed the most among
regional carriers. Seven of the top 10 employers in the industry
are network carriers.
Of particular note, four low-cost carriers reported year-to-year
increases: JetBlue Airways, 6.7 percent, Spirit Airlines 9.0
percent, Virgin America, 107.8 percent and Southwest Airlines, 5.2
percent. AirTran and Frontier reported FTE year-to-year