Boeing Lays Off 12,000 Workers Amid Pandemic

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As the coronavirus pandemic keeps Americans confined to their homes, nearly every industry has been negatively impacted by the disease, and businesses losing out on cash flow have started laying off workers.

Boeing is cutting more than 12,000 jobs through layoffs and buyouts as the coronavirus pandemic seizes the travel industry. And the aircraft maker says more cuts are coming.

One of the nation’s biggest manufacturers said Wednesday that it will lay off 6,770 U.S. employees this week, and another 5,520 workers are taking buyout offers to leave voluntarily in the coming weeks.

Boeing had said it would cut 10% of a workforce that numbered about 160,000. A Boeing spokesperson said Wednesday’s actions represent the largest number of job cuts, but several thousand additional jobs will be eliminated in the next few months.

The layoffs are expected to be concentrated in the Seattle area, home to Boeing’s commercial-airplanes business. The company said additional job cuts will be made in international locations, but it did not provide numbers.

Chicago-based Boeing’s defense and space division has remained relatively stable, helping offset the decline in air travel and demand for passenger jets.

Air travel within the U.S. tumbled 96% by mid-April, to fewer than 100,000 people on some days. It has recovered slightly. The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 264,843 people at airports on Tuesday, a drop of 89% compared with the same Tuesday a year ago.

“The COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices,” CEO David Calhoun said Wednesday in a memo to employees.

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