There was no change in travel booking jobs during the month of May, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS showed no change in travel booking jobs from May versus the last month. Year over year, the sector lost approximately 600 jobs. The picture for the overall leisure and hospitality sector was brighter, with 21,000 jobs added in May over the previous month and 262,000 since May of last year.
In terms of the economy overall, the unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8 percent in May, with the number of unemployed persons declining to 6.1 million. Year over year, the unemployment rate was down by half a percentage point, with the number of unemployed persons down by 772,000.
The flat numbers for travel booking jobs in May follows a slight decline, of 200 jobs, in March. That month travel booking jobs were also down year-over-year, by 1,900. Prior to that, the industry had seen a four-month run of job gains that started in December as the travel industry began to recover from the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Leisure and hospitality jobs have also been steadily climbing since then.
Despite the weak job numbers over the past few months, major travel agency organizations have continued to show strong signs of growth. At the recent conference for host agency Avoya Travel, executives shared that gross sales for the past 12 months through April have boomed to $434 million, up from $383 million during the previous two 12-month periods. Year-to-date through April, Avoya travel agents have booked 52,292 travelers, up from 47,857 in 2017 and 46,159 in 2016.