WASHINGTON The U.S. aerospace industry is hiring again just months after employment dipped to a 50-year low.
U.S. aerospace employment has been declining since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. Industry employment bottomed out at 568,700 in February, according to monthly Labor Department statistics compiled by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), based here.
The trend was reversed in June for the first time in 14 years as U.S. aerospace employment jumped to 579,800 jobs, AIA reported.
Aerospace employment has been hurt by industry consolidation and a precipitious decline in new aircraft orders after the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration boosted military spending to about $425 billion in fiscal 2004, priming the employment pump for aerospace manufacturing. The administration has also called for an end to subsidies for European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
Boeing, the largest remaining U.S. aircaft manufacturer, is readying a new passenger jet dubbed the 7E7 designed to take on Airbus.
AIA said the employment increase coincides with recent increases in shipments by U.S. companies in the commercial aviation, general aviation, helicopter and military sectors. Boeing announced that it expects to ship approximately 284 aircraft in 2004 compared to 281 a year ago.