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The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) released the 2022 Aerospace & Defense Workforce Study, conducted in collaboration with Ernst & Young LLP (EY US). This year’s survey, which includes analysis from over 30 aerospace and defense (A&D) companies representing about 850,000 employees globally, highlights the talent challenges they seek to address and benchmarks the industry’s ongoing efforts to meet workforce demand.  

Key findings include: 

  • Employee retention is a growing challenge Overall turnover across the A&D industry, amid 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 driven employees’ desire for wage increases. Seventy-eight percent of responding companies cited employees seeking opportunities for higher pay as a primary cause of higher attrition. 
  • Companies are meeting employees’ wishes for more opportunity and more flexible work models – Despite operations that are not always compatible with remote work, 65% of A&D organizations reported the successful use of flexible work options for employees, such as hybrid models, four-day workweeks and staggered hours.  
  • Demographic diversity is trending upward as industry prioritizes DEIIn 2022, the A&D industry saw incremental improvement in representation across all racial and ethnic identities, as well as from women. Companies are leveraging efforts such as employee resource groups, pay-gap reporting and cultural month celebrations to appeal to potential employees, engage diverse populations and improve workplace culture. 
  • Organizations are beginning 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 youth and next-generation education, and creating hands-on internship and leadership programs. At the same time, they are equipping current employees with the skills needed now by increasing access to learning and development opportunities, particularly for key technical competencies such as cybersecurity and data analytics – and finding success. 

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