Gains in travel industry employment won praise from David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, who offered his upbeat analysis on the Labor Department's report on the January 2012 employment numbers.
"Today's report offers a sign that the overall recovery, which has been stuck in low gear, is starting to accelerate, and confirms that the travel industry continues to outpace other sectors," Huether said. "Posting its thirteenth gain in the past 14 months, the travel industry added 7,000 jobs in January 2012. That means 7,540,000 U.S. workers are directly employed by travel, and these jobs cannot be outsourced."
"Since the employment recovery began in March of 2010, travel industry employment has expanded by 223,000, marking a 3.1 percent increase - faster than the 2.4 percent rise in employment in other sectors of the economy. As a result, the travel industry has already made up for 45 percent of the job losses that took place during the recession. By comparison, the job gains in rest of the economy to-date have offset just 35 percent of the job losses during the recession," Huether said.
"The recovery in travel employment has had a positive impact on those who have been hardest hit in recent years, specifically those with less than a college degree who account for half of those over age 25 who are currently unemployed," he continued.
"The travel industry employs a larger share of workers with less than a college degree than other sectors of the economy, and the quicker employment recovery in the travel industry has helped the unemployment rates for those with less than a college degree come down faster over the past year than those with a college degree, " Huethner said.
"Still, unemployment across the board remains uncomfortably high, which is why the President's recent executive order to help increase travel and tourism in the U.S. will be helpful in boosting travel employment even more," Huether said.
In related news, U.S. Travel applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for passing the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act” (H.R. 7).
“While the bill is not perfect, the Act will break down silos in transportation funding, expedite the project approval process and provide states with greater flexibility to meet the needs of their business and leisure travelers. By authorizing $260 billion over five years to improve our nation’s travel infrastructure, this bill will assist the travel industry in leading our nation’s economic recovery,” the association said.