Airlines are expecting to continue hiring over the next year, as capacity and traffic are expected to grow further, though the pace of expansion is slower than 2018, according to the International Air Transport Association.
IATA estimates that total employment by airlines will reach close to 3mn in 2020, a gain of 1.6% compared to 2019.
Productivity is likely to be sustained, with the average employee generating 545,000 available tonne kilometres (ATKs) a year, which is a 2.9% improvement over this year.
Wages and jobs will rise as employees share the benefits of improved performance.
However, having declined or been stable in recent years, unit labour costs are now rising, which is one of the reasons behind the on-going squeeze on airline profit margins.
The jobs being created are not just productive for their airline employers; they are also highly productive for the economies in which they are employed.
We estimate that the direct gross value added (GVA) for national economies, generated by the average airline employee, will rise 4.5% this year to around $103,000 a year, which is well above the economy-wide average.
Additional jobs in the airline sector will raise average levels of productivity in the economy.
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