The global aviation industry will be employing more than 2.9mn people in 2019, a gain of 2.2% compared to 2018. Airlines are expecting to continue hiring over the next 12 months; IATA said, and noted that as capacity and traffic are expected to grow strongly, the pace of expansion will be slower than in 2017.
The global trade body of airlines noted productivity is likely to slow a little, with the average employee generating just over 530,000 ATKs (available tonne kilometres) 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 significantly and we forecast an average increase of 2.1% in 2019.
Along with rising fuel costs this is one of the major contributions to the upward pressure on unit costs this year and the mid-year 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 4.3% next year to over $104,000 a year, which is well above the economy-wide average. Additional jobs in the airline sector will raise average levels of productivity in an economy,” IATA said.