The U.S. airline industry saw total employment drop by nearly 29,000 workers through mid-October as government restrictions on layoffs expired.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said U.S. airlines employed 673,278 workers by mid-October, which was 81,749 fewer than in March when demand for travel in the United States began to drop sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.
The department said that since March, United Airlines had reduced its workforce by 32 percent, or 29,243 employees, while Delta Air Lines eliminated 32 percent of its jobs, affecting 28,751 employees.
In October, American Airlines and United Airlines said they were laying off more than 32,000 workers after the previous $25 billion payroll assistance program expired on September 30.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday he is backing another $20 billion in government payroll support for the airlines that could help tens of thousands of workers return to payroll.
The government report said American Airlines had reduced its payroll by 18,262 employees, or 17%, to 90,846, while Southwest Airlines’ had dropped 6% to 58,134.
By David Shepardson
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