Aviation Week recently released the results of its 2009 Workforce Study, which show a continued decline in the aerospace and defense industry’s workforce.
Produced in partnership with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), and Hitachi Consulting, the report analyzes workforce issues, trends and opportunities.
The study and data from the AIA “suggest that U.S. A&D companies have cut about 30,000 jobs as of June 1, or just 4.5% of the total workforce,” says Project Leader Carole Hedden and Senior Business Editor Joseph Anselmo. “The layoffs will almost certainly continue into 2010, [but] total job losses during this downturn might be limited to 10% of the A&D workforce — far below the 40% eliminated in 1990-96 at the end of the Cold War. The industry is being much more strategic in reducing the workforce.”
Key highlights of the report include:
* Companies are still hiring. The industry currently has 21,000 job openings, down from 32,000 in 2008.
* A disconnect between stated needs, which focus on engineering skills, and hiring forecasts, which predict 38%-80% declines in these areas, may prolong the economic hangover.
* Retirement eligibility is expected to increase from 13% this year to 18% in 2011 and 20% in 2013, causing further workforce shortages; 5.7% of the A&D workforce retired in 2008.
* Retention of top-level talent is critical to the future of the industry; the near 15% voluntary attrition among young professionals was identified as a trend to watch and for action, such as supporting federal and state standards that promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
The study’s findings were based on responses from 43 companies with a total of 520,000 employees, representing 82% of the industry’s total workforce (630,000). The data was aggregated and formulated by market research firm Development II.
For more information: AviationWeek.com/workforce09