A little more than 394,000 employees work for U.S. passenger airlines, that’s the lowest amount in 15 years, according to the federal government. Airlines in the U.S. have experienced record job losses and plan to cut even more employees in an effort to stave off financial trouble.
According the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, job losses are effecting all types of airlines, including major network carriers, low-cost carriers and regional airlines with American Airlines and United showing the largest numbers of job losses.
United cut 5,200 jobs, 9.9% of its workforce, while American sent 2,900 workers to the unemployment line. And the job losses won’t stop there with carriers announcing more job cuts in the future. United announced that it would eliminate 7,000 jobs while American, expected more than 6,500 job losses.
These job losses will be even more painful for the economy because many workers at airlines are specialized employees whose training is suited only for the airline industry. It is more difficult for specialized workers to find work in the general economy especially if their industry is cutting jobs across the board.
This means many of those workers experiencing job losses at airlines will find themselves unable to find new work (at decent wages), pay their debts, mortgages and may be forced to file bankruptcy or face foreclosure. If you’re an employee in a specialized field and fear your job may be at risk, make an effort to diversify your skill set.