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U.S. Aerospace Jobs Rise From 50-Year Low

By John S. McClenahen U.S. aerospace employment reached 579,800 in June after falling to a 50-year low of 568,700 in February, according to U.S. Labor Department data analyzed by the Washington, D.C.-based Aerospace Industries Association's (AIA) Aerospace Research Center. The low reached in February was 14 years in the making and a product of the end of the Cold War, declining U.S. defense budgets, industry consolidation and two commercial market downturns. AIA notes that the increase in employment numbers coincides with the recent increases in shipments by U.S. companies in the industry's commercial aviation, general aviation, helicopter and defense sectors. For example, the Boeing Co. expects to ship 284 commercial aircraft in 2004, up from 281 in 2003, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association reports first-half 2004 billings were 17% higher than those for the first six months of 2003.

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