Aerospace Engineering Employment Takes Off

By: George Leopold
EE Times

May 13, 2008

WASHINGTON Aerospace employment increased in March, bucking the national manufacturing jobs decline.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), based here, said Tuesday (May 13) that the number of aerospace engineering jobs reached 651,700 in March, a slight increase of about 6,100 jobs over the 2007 year-end average.

AIA said aerospace employment has climbed steadily since bottoming out at 587,100 in 2003. The industry group attributed the steady rise in jobs to record industry sales, which are expected to top $210 billion in 2008.

"While overall manufacturing employment has declined, our civil, defense and space sectors are strong with a record backlog of orders fueled by major export growth," AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said in a statement.

Record sales are being driven by orders for the Airbus A380 passenger jet and Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Airbus said this week it will not deliver as many A380s in 2008 as planned.

AIA also said the aerospace industry is facing a engineering shortfall as many employees reach retirement age. Almost 60 percent of U.S. aerospace workers were 45 or older in 2007, according to an AIA survey.