21 percent of travel agents in Hot Travel Jobs’ yearly survey report being unemployed, according to the most recently released portion of the report.
The length of time travel agents had been unemployed varied by sector. Most (59%) of corporate travel agents had been unemployed between one and six months, while leisure travel agents were split 60 – 40 between being unemployed for over a year or one to six months. Corporate travel managers were more evenly split, with unemployment periods ranging from less than a month to more than one year.
The proportion of unemployed travel agents in this survey is much higher than previous reports we’ve seen on the travel unemployment rate. According to the last jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the leisure and hospitality sector was 4.9 percent in July, down from 6 percent the previous year. In June, the leisure and hospitality unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, down from 6.6 percent the previous year.
There are some key differences between the BLS and Hot Travel Jobs reports. The BLS unemployment rate referred to the entire leisure and hospitality sector of the U.S. economy, while the Hot Travel Jobs report is more narrowly focused on corporate and leisure travel agents, as well as corporate travel managers. The BLS unemployment rate is also estimated through a monthly sample survey of households, while the Hot Travel Jobs report is based on a survey of over 700 travel professionals. Finally, the BLS measure excludes people who do not have jobs but are not actively seeking work, while participants in the Hot Travel Jobs survey were simply asked if they are unemployed.
Hot Travel Jobs has been releasing new tidbits of data from its jobs report over the past few months. These include a look at an increase in travel agents’ retirement plans, average corporate and leisure travel agent salaries, and travel agents’ job satisfaction.