U.S. aerospace employment is the lowest it's been since 1953, dropping to just 689,000 at the end of last year. This according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry saw its workforce cut in half in 1989 after the end of the Cold War, and take another major hit after 9/11 at which time aerospace employment dropped 13%. The 9/11 attacks combined with what the Aerospace Industries Association calls a civil aviation and commercial space-business crisis, as well as industry mergers and acquisitions, have contributed to the decline. The Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry has called for an interagency task force to develop a national plan that educates and encourages students to work in the aerospace industry.