Despite headwinds, Boeing grows its local workforce

Boeing’s Washington workforce grew nearly 10 percent in 2023, nearing its pre-pandemic benchmark. The company had been Washington’s largest employer before being surpassed by Amazon in 2020, when the e-commerce giant grew to more than 90,000 employees during the early part of the pandemic.

Boeing’s recent employee increase comes on the heels of a hiring push for workers at its Renton and Everett facilities. More than 7,500 Washington workers were added last year, bringing the total to around 66,000, with the majority working for the Seattle-based Boeing Commercial Airplanes division. Boeing credits the quick growth to its investments in engineering and manufacturing roles.

The current staff number is sufficient to reach Boeing’s FAA-mandated production cap of 38 737 planes per month, so hiring is likely to slow down again until the cap is released. And hiring may be further impacted based on how orders trend in the face of the company’s recent publicity challenges related to quality control. In the long term, Boeing would like to produce at least 52 737s per month, so at some point the workforce could be built up again in anticipation of that goal. At this time, the company declined to specify new hiring targets for 2024.

Michel Merluzeau, who leads aerospace and defence marketing analysis for research firm AIR, expects hiring to be a challenge for Boeing and its suppliers in the coming months in the face of more stringent training requirements.

This post was based on information found on Puget Sound Business Journal.


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