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US airlines cut 27,500 jobs in past year

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Written by editor

U.S. airlines cut 27,500 jobs in the year that ended in February, a 6.6 percent drop, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

U.S. airlines cut 27,500 jobs in the year that ended in February, a 6.6 percent drop, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday.

Passenger airlines employed 391,682 U.S. workers in February compared with 419,200 during the same month in 2008, the agency’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said in a release. Airline employment, however, is up by 100 jobs nationwide since January 2000.

Delta Air Lines Inc. cut its work force by 6.6 percent since February 2008 to 45,300 full-time-equivalent workers from 48,500. Its merger partner, Northwest Airlines Corp., which was reported separately, cut its work force 5.4 percent to 27,800 from 29,400.

Overall, Delta’s work force is 16.9 percent smaller than in 2005, and Northwest’s is 27.5 percent smaller.

Financially troubled United Airlines trimmed its work force by the greatest amount in the year that ended in February, 12.7 percent to 45,800 from 52,400.

Airlines were hit hard last year by record spikes in jet fuel prices and weak consumer and business spending.

Southwest Airlines, the only leading carrier to add employees, added 1,473 workers in the year that ended in February and has more than 35,400 workers.