Boeing Warns Layoffs May Be Coming


An expected downturn in orders for both its civilian and military aircraft has led Boeing to announce it may take action beyond hiring freezes and normal attrition and reduce the size of its workforce through layoffs in 2009. Working under an order backlog recently estimated near $349 billion that could span five years of production and form a bridge over current economic woes may curb potential cuts. But a recent analysis by the Teal Group predicts that Boeing’s production will likely decrease after 2010, and may slide by as much as 15 percent by 2013.

Airline revenues have dropped substantially with a decrease in passenger traffic that harkens back to the 2003 SARS flu outbreak, according to the International Air Transport Association. Funding for Boeing’s development programs, like the delayed 787 Dreamliner, could drive cost-cutting efforts amid an order slowdown and the uncertain variables of a global credit crunch could translate into layoffs later next year. Boeing has added more than 24,000 jobs in Washington since 2004, according to the Seattle Times, and took in nearly $1 billion in profit for the first quarter of 2008. Still, the company’s near future, like most of ours, depends on the depth and breadth of the economic downturn.