Travel Industry Employment Gains in October

After edging down by 3.9 thousand in September, the travel industry bucked the trend and added 11,000 jobs last month, which accounted for more than 1 in 8 of the total jobs created and was the biggest increase since June, David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association reports.

Following an upwardly revised addition of 158,999 jobs in September, overall employment growth slowed to just 80,000 in October while the unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 9 percent.

Huether's analysis of today's Labor Department report on October 2011 employment numbers includes several key points:

" Since the employment recovery began in March of last year, the travel industry has created 209,000 jobs and has increased 1.7 times faster than the rest of the economy."
"Still, the pace of job growth in both the travel industry as well as the economy overall has decelerated during the past 4 months compared to the first half of the year. With the housing sector still in the doldrums, it is important for policy makers to look to alternative measures to help the fragile economy."
"One of the most efficient and least-costly efforts that would have the biggest bang for the buck would be to improve our nation's burdensome visa process, which would help boost international visitation, domestic spending, and job creation in the United States," Huether said.
"Over the past decade the U.S. has lost a considerable amount of market share in international visitation to our global competitors, and simply recovering that lost share would increase employment in the United States by 467,000, which is roughly equal to the total number of jobs created in the U.S. since June," Huether said. 

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