US airlines slowly adding jobs; employment up for 6th straight month despite United cuts

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WASHINGTON – U.S. airlines have been adding jobs for six straight months, though the gains aren’t big ones.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Monday that the nation’s passenger airlines had the equivalent of 385,619 full-time workers in May, up 1.1 per cent from May 2013. That’s the highest level since September 2012.

Delta, American, US Airways and JetBlue added jobs while United shrunk 2.5 per cent and Southwest slipped by 0.3 per cent.

Some smaller low-fare airlines are growing faster than bigger airlines in percentage terms. Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air increased jobs by nearly 13 per cent.

All the major airlines except United made money in the first quarter on strong travel demand. All are expected to post profits for the second-quarter, including United.

The government counts two part-time employees as one full-time worker.

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