Almost 25% of airline jobs have disappeared over the past decade, according to statistics from the Transportation Department. As of Dec. 31, U.S. carriers employed 557,674 full-time and part-time workers, about 170,000 fewer than the same point in 1999. One economist attributed the losses to a variety of changes in the industry landscape, including: carrier mergers and bankruptcies, smaller hub operations, outsourcing, technology and other factors.

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