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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 Lost Few Jobs in July 2022; Employment Remains 3.3% Above Pre-Pandemic July 2019

Monday, September 19, 2022

BTS 41-22



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

U.S. airline industry (passenger and cargo airlines combined) employment decreased to 767,772 workers in July 2022, 97 (-0.01%) fewer workers than in June 2022 (767,869) and 24,732 (3.33%) more than in pre-pandemic July 2019 (743,040). 

U.S. scheduled-service passenger airlines employed 487,214 workers in July or 64% of the industry-wide total. Passenger airlines added 2,441 employees in July for a fifteenth consecutive month of job growth dating back to May 2021. Southwest led scheduled passenger carriers, adding 971 employees; United Airlines added 800 employees, and Delta Airlines added 719. 

U.S. cargo airlines employed 276,128 workers in July, 36% of the industry total. Cargo carriers lost 2290 employees in July. FedEx, the leading air cargo employer, decreased employment by 2,473 jobs.


Scheduled passenger airlines add 2,273 full-time equivalents in July for 15th 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 July industry-wide numbers include 657,365 full-time and 110,407 part-time workers for a total of 712,569 FTEs, an increase from June of 299 FTEs (0.04%). July’s total number of FTEs remains just 4.26% above pre-pandemic June 2019’s 683,459 FTEs.

The 26 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reporting data for July 2022 employed 460,409 FTEs, 2,265 FTEs (0.49%) more than in June 2022. July’s total number of scheduled passenger airline FTEs is 10,605 FTEs (2.36%) above pre-pandemic July 2019. Data by passenger carrier category can be found in the accompanying tables.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 247,863 FTEs in July, down 1,736 FTEs (-0.70%) from June. U.S. cargo airlines have increased FTEs by 18,435 (8.04%) since pre-pandemic July 2019.


Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of September 8, 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 July 2022.

The next update for U.S. airline employment is scheduled for October 13.