Travel Booking Jobs Fall; Hospitality Rebounds Post-Hurricanes

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Travel booking jobs fell in October, while employment in hospitality overall rebounded, particularly among restaurant workers as the sector bounced back from Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. That’s according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to the October jobs report, the “travel arrangement and reservation services” sector, which the BLS counts under “professional and business services,” lost approximately 1,000 jobs from September to October. The “leisure and hospitality” sector, however, added 106,000 jobs.

The BLS reports that the employment increase between September and October was especially sharp in food services and drinking places, which added 89,000 jobs, after losing 98,000 jobs in September when many workers were off payrolls due to the hurricanes.

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In the travel sector, destinations across the Caribbean have launched a number of campaigns to try to boost tourism after a series of deadly hurricanes caused damage to several destinations within the region. Belize has launched a campaign that will offer donations to hurricane relief for every visitor to the country, while major tour operators are also pitching in to drive tourism to islands that were not affected by the hurricanes.

Overall, the unemployment rate held mostly steady, edging down by 0.1 percentage points to 4.1 percent in October, as the total number of unemployed persons decreased by 281,000 to 6.5 million. Since January, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.7 percentage points. Overall, the economy added 261,000 nonfarm jobs in October.

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