Boeing Cuts Jobs at Fastest Rate in Over a Decade, and Doesn’t Appear to Be Slowing Down

View of the interior from the business class, and view of the economy class in the plane.
iStock.com/aapsky

The Aerospace Company Looks to Automation to Help Streamline Its Business at the Cost of Jobs

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) has already slashed more than 6,000 staff during the first half of 2017, accounting for around four percent of the company’s workforce, though the aerospace giant claims that the need to improve efficiency and factory automation will be necessary for its survival, likely leading to more job losses in the future.

The 6,000 jobs were cut via a mix of attrition, buyouts, and layoffs, and most of them occurred at the big jetliner plants in Washington state.

The company currently has 5,700 jets that have been ordered.

As rivals continue to edge in on the company, Boeing is looking to remain competitive through automation and other technologies that can help increase efficiency. Of course, study after study has revealed that future automation will likely lead to job losses in a number of different industries, with those working manufacturing jobs being some of the most vulnerable to being replaced by robotics.

In Washington, where most of the layoffs have occurred so far, Boeing issued notices to 1,251 staff members in 2017, with the latest cuts coming on July 21. But this is just the latest in a long trend of job losses in the region, as over 20,000 jobs have been shed by the company in the Seattle area over the past four years.

Boeing unions have railed against the cuts, believing that the company is diluting the engineering skills while boosting aircraft production, leading to a deficit in personnel.

As Boeing continues to stay the course, many fear that more job losses may be on the way. Seattle-area officials have responded to the losses by seeking an emergency grant from the Labor Department to help support the 1,000 Boeing workers displaced by issuing benefits such as retraining programs.

Tax breaks for the company have also come under fire as Boeing sheds more jobs.

Ultimately, the company has lost jobs but has seen its stock price rise, which will likely only support Boeing’s current moves, leading to more automation and fewer employees.

 

Sources

Boeing to cut more jobs as Airbus crosswinds grow stronger,” The Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2017.

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