Boeing has increased its workforce in the state by 4,272 people in the first six months of 2011. The company employs 77,889 workers in Washington.
To keep up with increased aircraft demand, Boeing is ramping up production across its jet lines. For example, in May, the company returned to a pace of seven 777s monthly and plans to increase the rate on the Everett-built jet to 8.3 aircraft monthly by early 2013. And, last month, Boeing said it would increase its rate on the 737 to 42 jets monthly by 2014. Workers in Renton are building at a rate of 31.5 737s monthly.
As a result, the aerospace company has been steadily hiring production workers, in particular, since late last year. Its Machinists union, which reports new member data weekly, lists more than 750 new Machinists jobs at Boeing in June. The union shows 389 Machinists have been added so far in July.
Boeing's commercial airplanes division had 72,775 employees at the end of June. The company has commercial airplane workers in states besides Washington, including Oregon, Utah and South Carolina, where Boeing recently opened a second 787 assembly line.
Boeing's workforce in Washington also includes employees in its engineering, operations and technology group, defense workers and shared services group. The company's engineering division has grown by more than 300 people this year.
Also Tuesday, Boeing said it had finished test flights that were being conducted with the 787's launch customer, All Nippon Airways. The flights are meant to validate how the new Dreamliner will perform in commercial service. And the testing allowed ANA's employees -- both in the air and on the ground -- to get hands on experience with the aircraft prior to its delivery.
"Giving our team a chance to work with the airplane prior to entry into service was very valuable," said Katsunori Shimazaki, ANA corporate planning senior manager, in a statement.
Boeing plans to deliver the first Dreamliner to ANA in August or September.