According to the latest US Department of Labour figures, the US travel industry has returned to its pre-Great Recession employment level, while most of the US economy continues to struggle to reach that mark. With an addition of 7,000 travel jobs in January, plus a substantial upward revision of previous data, the new labour report reveals that the travel industry actually reached the milestone in October, and now stands 11% above the pre-recession employment peak of February 2008.
Since the recovery began, the travel industry has added jobs at a rate 19% faster than the rest of the economy overall, which has replaced only 88% of the jobs lost during the recession.
David Huether, U.S. Travel’s senior vice-president for research and economics, said of the results: “We’ve always known that travel had the tools to outperform most of the economy even in very troubled times, so it’s not a surprise that we’ve reached this mark while industries such as construction, manufacturing, real estate and finance are far from fully recovered.”
And Huether added: “We had long suspected we would get back to pre-recession levels before the end of 2013, and lo and behold, the data revisions show we got there in October.”
Travel supports 14.6 million American jobs, directly employs one in eight Americans across key job sectors — including transportation, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, among others — and is a top-10 employer in 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Travel-related jobs are notable for their quality as well as quantity. The average maximum salary for someone who started their career in the travel industry is $81,900 — significantly higher than other industries — and two in five of those go on to salaries in excess of $100,000 per year.
U.S. Travel president and CEO Roger Dow commented: “This latest data leaves little room for doubt: travel is a job-creating powerhouse. It’s nice to have reached this milestone, but there is much more we can do to build further upon this record of success. We’re excited about the possibilities our industry holds for the U.S. economy and workers.”
Dow concludes that policymakers could encourage more U.S. travel job creation by passing the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Actùwhich has been introduced in the House as H.R. 1354, and provisions of which were included in the Senate-passed immigration billùand reauthorizing Brand USA, a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to increasing inbound international travel to the United States.
Go to http://www.ustravel.org for more.