With the airline business showing scant sign of significant recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn, Boeing cut more jobs this week to reach its initial workforce reduction target. However, further job losses are likely ahead.
This week another 750 employees received layoff notices companywide, about 580 of those in Washington state. Most have a termination date of Nov. 20, Boeing spokesperson Jessica Kowal said Friday.
The white-collar union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said this included about 400 of its members.
Kowal said the total job cuts announced so far in Washington state through a combination of voluntary buyouts and layoffs now stand at about 12,600.
Companywide, the number of job cuts from buyouts and layoffs together stands at about 19,000, including this week’s announced layoffs. But this is offset by about 3,000 new hires in some critical skill areas, mostly in the defense units, she said.
Kowal said the result is that the overall job reduction at Boeing companywide is now roughly at the initial target Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced in April of 10% or about 16,000 employees.
Calhoun said then that Washington state would be hit harder because of the concentration of Commercial Airplane work here and that the job cuts here could be “more than 15%.”
The 12,600 Washington state employees leaving this year already amounts to about 17% of Boeing’s workforce in the state, but with some unspecified number of new hires in the state, the overall percentage reduction will be less than that.
Despite reaching the initial Boeingwide reduction target, this is unlikely to be the end of the job cuts.
In July, Boeing announced that due to the prolonged impact of COVID-19, the decision to cut its jet production rates and the lower demand for its after-sales services to airlines, more layoffs are likely.
“We’ll have to further assess the size of our workforce and ensure we’re aligning with the smaller market,” said Kowal.