Boeing Layoffs in 2017 as Aircraft Manufacturer Sees Sales Decline

Boeing Layoffs 2017

Boeing Layoffs in Washington: Cost-Cutting Led to 1,563 Job Cuts

Just like many other industries, the aviation and aircraft manufacturing industry is seeing lot headwinds. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) announced layoffs for 2017 at its Washington State plants. The Boeing sales decline is one of the main reasons for these job cuts. In addition, Boeing buyouts in 2017 were part of planned workforce restructuring in the commercial aircraft division.

Read on to learn more about what’s been happening with Boeing layoffs in 2017.

Boeing’s Washington plants have been looking at employee restructuring as a cost-cutting measure. Layoff notices issued all through 2017 by Boeing affected more than 1,500 permanent positions, mostly in Puget Sound. These Washington layoffs mainly affected the commercial aircraft, defense space, and security divisions.

The affected employees belonged to the machinists’ union and a white-collar engineering union. A few non-union jobs were cut as well. Other unions may also have been affected, but the company has not provided details about them.


In April, Boeing declared that it would be cutting hundreds of engineering jobs in Washington State and at other company sites. John Hamilton, vice-president of engineering, wrote in a memo that cuts were necessary to meet business and market requirements and to ensure that the company stays competitive.

This announcement came in the wake of an earlier round of voluntary buyouts, as well as another round of involuntary layoffs that affected around 250 employees. Further cuts came via natural attrition.

Over 1,800 Voluntary Buyouts in Washington

Boeing declared that it would cut jobs in 2017 through various means, including voluntary buyouts. In Washington State, Boeing buyouts in 2017 were offered to over 1,800 unionized machinists and engineers in the commercial aircraft unit.

Boeing Layoffs in South Carolina: 200 Jobs Cut

At a plant in South Carolina where President Donald Trump once made a speech promising to protect American jobs, Boeing confirmed in June it was cutting about 200 jobs. This plant saw significant cuts to contract positions back in 2013.

The layoffs at the North Charleston plant were part of a company-wide plan to reduce jobs announced in December 2016. Intense competition from Airbus SE and no new orders were blamed for the cuts.

The aviation and commercial airplane industry is in the midst of a major reshuffling as competition is forcing companies to cut costs and find greater efficiencies. Boeing, a major aircraft manufacturing company, is seeing declining sales and less demand for its airliners and has been forced to turn to buyouts and involuntary layoffs.


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Boeing plans another 245 layoffs,” The Seattle Times, updated March 23, 2017, last accessed December 1, 2017.

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Boeing to Dismiss Hundreds of Engineers Amid Sales Slowdown,” Bloomberg, April 17, 2017, last accessed December 1, 2017.