Airlines are among the industries hardest hit by COVID. Travel has stopped almost entirely, and what little business airlines have been getting either comes with heavy criticisms or as pittance, like when a trend of buying "tickets to nowhere" surfaced so people could remember what it felt like to eat bad food and have a child kick the back of your seat. 

Ahead of the holidays, however, airlines have started hiring again and are making a painfully slow crawl to recovery. 

💎 Data Digs

  • Our data show increases in airline job listings across three of the five largest airlines in the U.S. This is the first sign of life these airlines have had since March when job listings took a dramatic nosedive. Listings at United airlines tumbled down from 164 to just one in 22 days. It took three days for American airlines to go from 147 to five.
  • Only two airlines are beginning to crawl out of their pandemic ditch: American and Alaska. American Airlines' listings are up 542% over the last two months - but that's only because they climbed up from seven to 45. 
  • Similarly, Alaskan airlines increased from 11 to 25 in the same span of time.

⚔️ Big Picture

  • While these early rumblings are the first sign of airlines' effort to recover, they are not the whole picture: the industry is about to lay off approximately 35,000 employees this week. Some of these employees are rallying Congress to implement another stimulus package to prevent the mass layoffs, but there has been silence from Capitol Hill. Congress is either unwilling to bail out the airlines, its workers, or both.
  • Some steps are being taken to avoid the enormous layoffs. United Airlines pilots came to an agreement with the company to reduce schedules and pay to save some jobs - at least temporarily - from being slashed. 
  • The travel industry at large has been obliterated by COVID-19, and it likely will make a long, painful recovery. Whereas other industries are starting to rouse from their pandemic-induced slumber, travel has stagnated across the board. In the long run, a stimulus may very well be the only thing that can help these airlines keep their thousands of employees.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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