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Industries at a Glance
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Air Transportation: NAICS 481

About the Air Transportation subsector

The air transportation subsector is part of the transportation and warehousing sector.

Industries in the Air Transportation subsector provide air transportation of passengers and/or cargo using aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters. The subsector distinguishes scheduled from nonscheduled air transportation. Scheduled air carriers fly regular routes on regular schedules and operate even if flights are only partially loaded. Nonscheduled carriers often operate during nonpeak time slots at busy airports. These establishments have more flexibility with respect to choice of airport, hours of operation, load factors, and similar operational characteristics. Nonscheduled carriers provide chartered air transportation of passengers, cargo, or specialty flying services. Specialty flying services establishments use general-purpose aircraft to provide a variety of specialized flying services.

North American Industry Classification System

The air transportation subsector consists of these industry groups:

  • Scheduled Air Transportation: NAICS 4811
  • Nonscheduled Air Transportation: NAICS 4812

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in air transportation. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment

Data series Back
data
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Apr.
2021

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

412.2 407.1 (p)412.5 (p)419.0

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2020

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

36,310

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

73,730

Cargo and freight agents

8,780

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

58,460

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for air transportation.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings

Recent hourly and annual earnings for occupations commonly found in air transportation.

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2020
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

$42.27 $39.89 $87,920 $82,970

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

(1)-$ (1)-$ $171,230 $190,160

Cargo and freight agents

$20.19 $21.75 $42,000 $45,230

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

$24.80 $24.69 $51,580 $51,350

Footnotes
(1) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.

(Source: Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in air transportation. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2016 2017 2018 2019

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

22 22 27 34

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Data series 2019

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

6.5

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

5.3

Cases involving days away from work

3.7

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

1.5

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction. The import price index reflects the percentage change in prices paid to foreign producers for their goods and services within the U.S., while the export price index measures the percentage change in prices received by U.S. producers for goods and services sold outside the U.S.

Data series Back
data
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021

Producer price index

(p)186.8 (p)186.2 (p)189.2 (p)199.4

Percent change from previous month

  (p)-4.9% (p)-0.3% (p)1.6% (p)5.4%

Import index

157.3 148.5 151.3 145.9

Percent change from previous month

  3.9% -5.6% 1.9% -3.6%

Export index

153.3 170.4 162.4 160.0

Percent change from previous month

  -9.5% 11.2% -4.7% -1.5%

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes, International Price Program)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in air transportation. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
4th quarter
2019
1st quarter
2020
2nd quarter
2020
3rd quarter
2020

Number of establishments

Private industry

6,044 (p)6,004 (p)6,046 (p)6,080

Local government

5 (p)5 (p)5 (p)5

State government

1 (p)1 (p)1 (p)1

Federal government

4 (p)4 (p)4 (p)4

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2017 2018 2019 2020

Labor productivity index, output per hour

117.596 123.642 126.448  

Percent change from previous year

3.6 5.1 2.3  

Labor index, total labor hours

96.969 96.957 98.630 90.744

Percent change from previous year

0.3 0.0 1.7 -8.0

Output index

114.032 119.880 124.715  

Percent change from previous year

3.8 5.1 4.0  

Unit labor costs index

141.287 141.363 146.368  

Percent change from previous year

3.8 0.1 3.5  

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

 

Data extracted on: May 07, 2021