Delta Air Lines Inc. has received 44,000 applications for 400 flight-attendant positions, showcasing demand for jobs with the U.S. unemployment rate mired near 8 percent.
“We received an incredible number of applications for these positions,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson said in a weekly recorded message to employees. A panel of flight attendants already working for Delta will begin interviewing candidates next week, he said.
The surge in applications means would-be employees have a 1-in-110 chance of being hired. Delta said in December that 22,000 people applied at a rate of two per minute in the first week the jobs were posted outside the Atlanta-based company.
The flight attendants are being hired so they can be trained and ready to fly in June when the peak summer travel season begins. Delta, the world’s second-largest carrier, has said it is seeking workers who speak languages including Japanese, Hindi, Mandarin and Portuguese.
Delta joins American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. in drawing thousands of applications for new positions.
American accepted 20,000 applications for 1,500 flight-attendant jobs in November and closed the process after a week, said Missy Cousino, a spokeswoman for AMR. The first group of hires is going through training now and will start flying in April, she said.
US Airways said in January it drew 16,500 applicants for its 450 openings in the carrier’s biggest hiring push for flight attendants since 2010.
In 2010, Delta received 100,000 applications for 1,000 job openings.
Nationwide, the pace of job growth hasn’t been strong enough to dissuade the Federal Reserve from supporting the expansion through accommodative monetary policy.
The U.S. unemployment rate, which climbed to 7.9 percent last month, has remained within 20 basis points of 8 percent since March.
“Employment has continued to expand at a moderate pace but the unemployment rate remains elevated,” the Federal Open Market Committee said at the Jan. 30 conclusion of its two-day meeting in Washington.