How can the aerospace and defense industry better meet today’s workforce challenges, while preparing for the future?

New data from AIA, AIAA and EY show lingering effects of pandemic, big quit and employee engagement on A&D companies

ARLINGTON, Va., October 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) today released the Aerospace and Defense Workforce Study 2022, conducted in collaboration with Ernst & Young LLP (EY US). This year’s survey, which includes an analysis of more than 30 aerospace and defense (A&D) companies representing approximately 850,000 employees worldwide, highlights the talent challenges they seek to address and compares the industry’s ongoing efforts to meet labor demand.

“The aerospace and defense industry relies on a dynamic and highly skilled workforce to maintain our competitive advantage. In the wake of the pandemic and the big quit, the industry has had to rethink its approach to recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest,” said Eric FanningPresident and CEO of AIA. “Our annual workforce survey shows that our industry continues to rely on innovative strategies to meet the challenges it faces today and provides actionable, data-driven insights to support and grow the workforce. -work of tomorrow.”

Key findings include:

  • Employee retention is a growing challenge – Overall revenue in the A&D industry, in an already tight labor market, rose to 7.1% in 2022 from 5.7% last year. Not only has inflation increased supply chain and operating costs, but it has also spurred employees’ desire to raise their salaries. Seventy-eight percent of companies surveyed cited employees seeking opportunities for higher pay as the primary cause of higher attrition.
  • Companies respond to employee wishes for more opportunities and more flexible working models – Despite operations not always being compatible with remote work, 65% of A&D organizations reported successful use of flexible work options for employees, such as hybrid models, four-day work weeks and staggered hours.
  • Demographic Diversity Trends to Increase as Industry Prioritizes DEI – In 2022, the A&D industry has seen a gradual improvement in the representation of all racial and ethnic identities, as well as women. Companies are leveraging efforts such as employee resource groups, pay gap reports, and cultural month celebrations to attract potential employees, engage diverse populations, and improve workplace culture.
  • Organizations are starting to focus on developing the workforce of today and tomorrow – A&D companies are exploring ways to build a strong talent pipeline by collaborating with educational institutions, investing in the education of young people and the next generation, and creating hands-on internship and leadership programs. At the same time, they are equipping current employees with the skills they need now by increasing access to learning and development opportunities, especially for key technical skills such as cybersecurity and data analytics – and finding success.

“While it’s no surprise that the industry is feeling the headwinds of the talent shortage, I see this as an opportune time for companies to energize their talent transformation efforts to meet the immediate challenge while creating the hand -work of tomorrow”, said Raman RamEY Americas Aerospace & Defense Leader. “Creating a vibrant workforce through investments in reskilling and education will enable the industry to meet the expected increase in demand and the change in capabilities required.”

“The A&D industry has made strides in implementing impactful talent strategies, starting from scratch,” said Dan Dumbacherexecutive director of the AIAA. “Through this study, we can see where meaningful action has influenced the future of the aerospace and defense workforce. We believe the study’s findings will help employers across the of the industry to continue to make the necessary innovative and progressive advancements.”

“We are excited to continue our collaboration with the AIA and AIAA on this annual study, and we are excited to see how the research will be used to improve digital transformation and workforce development in this industry. critical”, said Steve FullerPartner, People Advisory Services, EY USA.

About AIA

For more than 100 years, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has been the voice of the American aerospace and defense industry. Our work as advocates and conveners is key to shaping policy, shedding light on the industry’s impact and energizing its future. Our CEO-level leaders from our more than 300 member companies guide these efforts, strengthening the industry’s ability to effectively support America’s national security and economy. Together, we advocate for effective federal investments; accelerated deployment of innovative technologies; policies that improve our global competitiveness; and recruitment and retention efforts that support a skilled and diverse workforce in the 21st century.

About the AIAA

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the largest aerospace technical society in the world. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries and 100 corporate members, the AIAA brings together industry, academia and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space and defense. For more information, visit or follow AIAA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

EY | Building a better world of work

EY exists to build a better world of work, helping to create long-term value for customers, people and society and to build confidence in capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in more than 150 countries deliver trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across insurance, advisory, legal, strategy, tax and transactional areas, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers to the complex issues facing our world today. today.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information on how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights of individuals under data protection legislation are available at EY member firms do not practice law where local law prohibits it. For more information about our organization, please visit

This press release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, an EY member firm serving clients in the United States.

Elisabeth Feigenbaum
[email protected]

Marta Hernandez
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