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March 3, 2024
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To stabilize operations, ramp up production, and invest in innovation, Boeing will recruit another 10.000 new employees this year. They are in addition to the net 15.000 new staff that joined the aerospace company last year.

Following two years of Covid-crisis and low production rates in its Commercial Airplanes business, which was further impacted by the MAX grounding and 787 production pause, Boeing is coming out of the crisis. It wants to return to pre-pandemic production levels of some 800 deliveries in 2025, but first needs to stabilize the production and supply chain.

After reducing the workforce by some 16.000 in 2020 and 2021, Boeing went on a hiring spree last year again. It recruited 23.000 people, but as some 8.000 staff retired or left the company for other reasons, the net addition has been some 15.000. Demand is the highest for engineering and manufacturing jobs across all its business units.

Asked about headcount projections for 2023, President and CEO David Calhoun said this week during the FY22 earnings call that finding people isn’t the biggest issue, but training them is what takes time and causes production rates at suppliers to remain lower for some months to come: We have had no trouble hiring people. None. We’re sort of at or a little above of where we were in the days you guys all remember, because we’ve got so many of these rework apparatuses going on and there are a lot of people required to do it, so our job is to actually just take what we have, incorporate all of the learning from the folks who are doing the rework. That will displace whatever retirements and/or demographic issues that we have over the next couple of years.”

‘Pretty good set up on labor’

“We have a pretty good set up on labor and a pretty good mechanism ironically with these return to service aircraft and the join verification, a pretty good mechanism to train mechanics, train our people to do the job, and on the engineering front, man, we’ve had a real good run, hiring is over 10.000. Our job is to make sure that we just train them right, get them involved early, and get on to live so we are not facing a big demand.”

“Our supply chain probably still works in the hiring a bit but it’s nowhere near as important as their – the training of the people that they’re bringing in. I’ve seen this thing really ease up in the last year, like really ease up. Tier 1s, I doubt any of them are really fighting for talent anymore, and underneath that, I think the supply chains are filling out. It’s all about now, the training and development.”

By January 1, Boeing employed 156.354 across the globe, up from 142.000 in 2021. Of them, 60.244 were active in Washington State and the major aircraft factories in Everett and Renton. Some 16.000 are employed in Missouri and 13.615 in California. Outside the US, Boeing employs over 37.000 people.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes employed 41.256 people by late December, Global Service 20.523, Defense, Space & Security 16.961, and other enterprises 77.614.

On Thursday, Airbus said it will recruit another 13.000 people this year, the same number as in 2022.

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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