The U.S. Aerospace and Defense industry is one of the largest high-technology manufacturing sectors in the United States. Our industry supports high-paying jobs across the U.S. economy in five key industry areas: aircraft systems, which include the manufacture of commercial aircraft, helicopters and general aviation systems; land and naval systems, which include the manufacture of U.S. naval ships and military land systems including tactical vehicles, armaments and munitions; space systems, which include satellite and launch vehicle manufacturing; cyber systems, which include end-point cyber security services for government and defense customers; and the industry’s supply chain, which include firms that manufacture integrated systems such as aircraft engines and avionics down to firms that supply parts and materials.
Job loss is one of the most critical economic indicators in 2020 and the U.S. aerospace and defense industry was not immune from the declines in employment. Air travel slowed to a near halt, the demand for new aircraft and maintenance, repair, and overhaul services evaporated, and facilities were forced to temporarily close in accordance with government health orders. Consequently, the industry saw a net loss of more than 87,000 employees, a 4 percent decline when compared to 2019 industry employment.
Despite the impacts of the pandemic, our workforce remained nearly 2 million strong in 2020, with A&D industry jobs represented 1.4% of all employment in the United States.