U.S. travel industry adding jobs faster than other sectors

The U.S. travel industry has created jobs 26 percent faster than the rest of the economy, one travel industry economist said.

The Labor Department reported recently that the economy added 80,000 new jobs in June, slightly up from the 77,000 it reported in May. And, unemployment has remained at 8.2 percent for a second consecutive month.

After creating 226,000 jobs per month in the first quarter, the economy was only able to boost employment by an average of 75,000 per month in the second quarter, said David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association. And, while some of this deceleration was due to an unseasonably warm winter, there’s no denying that the recovery is in a soft patch.

“The slowdown has also extended to the travel sector of the economy, where after creating more than 13,000 jobs per month in the first quarter, travel jobs edged up just 2,600 per month in the second quarter, including an increase of just 1,300 in June to 7.6 million,” Huether said.

“Still, it is important to note that since the employment recovery began in March of 2011, the travel industry has created 271,000 new jobs and has created jobs at a pace that has been 26 percent faster than the rest of the economy.”

Huether said the main reasons why employment growth in the travel sector has been outpacing the rest of the economy in recent years: jobs in the travel industry cannot be outsourced abroad or easily replaced through automation.

The U.S. Travel Association continues to push U.S. policymakers to enact long-term reforms that will make it easier for travelers from other areas of the world, such as Latin American and Asia, to visit the United States, Huether said.