• Airline employment begins an ascent
After 28 consecutive months of declining employment, the U.S. airline industry is back in hiring mode again, a sign that airlines are ready to add routes and flights.
The airline industry reported a 0.2% increase in employment in December, the first rise since August 2008, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"I think the airlines are moving up with the general economy," said Jan Brueckner, an economics professor at UC Irvine and expert on the airline industry.
American Airlines announced last week that it plans to hire up to 30 bilingual flight attendants for its new Los Angeles-to-Shanghai route. The route will serve the growing tourism and business travel from China over the next few years as the Chinese middle class grows and travel restrictions ease. The new American hires are in addition to the 568 flight attendants recalled to work by the airline this month.