Everett, Wash. Boeing Co. is hiring more machinists as it starts ramping up commercial jet production.
The Daily Herald of Everett reported Thursday that Boeing has added nearly 1,000 production workers in the past eight weeks, including about 193 it plans to hire Friday. Based on information from the Machinists union, that would be the highest number of new machinists hired by Boeing in a single week since 2005, the newspaper said.
Boeing, which releases employment figures at the end of each month, said that at the end of October it had 72,782 employees in Washington state, a gain of 618 since the first of the year. Its Commercial Airplanes division, most of which is based in Washington, 2,388 jobs have been added to total 62,622.
That number doesn't include about 500 recently hired machinists, the Herald said. Boeing's worldwide employment this year has stayed stable at around 160,000 workers.
"We've announced rate increases and have to have people on board to be able to meet our goals," said Boeing spokesman Tim Healy.
After slowing some production lines because of the recession, Boeing announced it would speed up its 737, 777 and 747 programs next year.
It also plans to increase production of its long-delayed 787 jetliner. Boeing had planned to deliver the first 787 to a customer in early 2011, but that schedule has been in question since the company grounded its 787 test fleet after an electrical fire forced an emergency landing of one of the planes last week.
Boeing usually slows its hiring pace in the last few months of the year as the holidays and its annual plant shutdowns approach. In November 2009 and 2008, it hired 73 and 48 machinists respectively, The Herald said. This year it will have added about 490 machinists, including those on Friday.
Employment for Boeing's engineers and professional workers has remained relatively stable over the past few years, said Bill Dugovich, spokesman for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.