Wichita — Wichita (ap) -- In March Boeing was saying it would cut 2,000 Wichita jobs this year, most by the end of June.
But a rebound in orders for the 737 jetliner has given the aircraft manufacturer a boost, and the pace of layoffs has slowed.
While Boeing has not officially changed that figure, by the end of June only about 500 jobs had been trimmed, with most cuts coming through attrition, said Dick Ziegler, a Boeing Wichita spokesman. Employment is just under 16,500 today.
Of 67 notices that went out to workers represented by the Machinists union 60 days ago warning that their jobs were in surplus, only eight actually resulted in layoffs, Ziegler said.
Boeing announced recently that Southwest Airlines had ordered 94 of the single-aisle 737 jets, with the possibility for as many 196 more. The company plans to raise 737 production from 24 a month to 28 in the third quarter of 2001.
Last year, the Wichita plant cut more than 4,500 jobs. Since February 1998 the number of workers employed by Boeing Wichita has dropped by 5,740.