Aerospace Industry Employment Increases After Falling to 50-Year Low

Press Release From: Aerospace Industries Association
Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

image The U.S. aerospace industry is hiring once again according to monthly Labor Department data compiled by AIA's Aerospace Research Center. Industry employment reached 579,800 in June after falling to a 50-year low of 568,700 in February. This marks a reversal of a downward trend that began 14 years ago at the end of the Cold War, then followed by declining defense budgets, industry consolidation, and two commercial market downturns.

"This is excellent news for the aerospace industry and our economy," said AIA President and CEO John Douglass. "The increase in employment is also a signal that we need to redouble our efforts to attract young people to aerospace careers. This increase in employment along with expected retirements over the coming decade will create a demand for highly-skilled workers to enter the aerospace industry."

The increase in employment coincides with recent increases in shipments by U.S. companies in the commercial aviation, general aviation, helicopter, and defense sectors. Boeing announced that it expects to ship approximately 284 aircraft in 2004 compared to 281 a year ago. General aviation billings have increased 17 percent the first half of 2004 over the same period last year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Industry shipped 395 U.S.-manufactured civil helicopters worth $214 million through June -- setting a pace not seen in over 19 years. Defense aerospace shipments increased to an annual rate of $76 billion in the first six months of 2004 -- a nine percent increase over all of 2003.

"U.S. aerospace manufacturers, whether their business is defense or commercial, are responding to increased demand for their products by hiring additional workers," said Douglass.

See AIA's Web site at

Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) is the premier trade association representing the nation's manufacturers of commercial, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, aircraft engines, missiles, spacecraft, materials, and related components and equipment.

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