Of the 57,000 private-sector jobs created in June 201l – or more than one in five – were added in the travel industry. The fact that travel has outperformed other employers is nothing new in this recovery, David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, said in his analysis of today's Labor Department report on June 2011 employment numbers.
"In a concerning sign that the economic recovery remains in a very soft patch, today's Labor Department report showed that employers added a scant 18,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate edged up to 9.2 percent last month. However, travel jobs outpaced other industries, Huether said.
"Since the labor market bottomed out in February of 2010, employment in the travel industry has increased by 162,000, growing 1.7 times faster than employment growth in the rest of the economy and accounting for nine percent of the total jobs created to-date. The ongoing problem of joblessness remains concentrated with those who are either under 25 years old or job seekers with less than a college degree who collectively account for 86 percent of the 14.1 million unemployed Americans. The good news is that jobs in travel-related occupations are more concentrated in these demographics than in the rest of the economy, which means that a more robust upturn in travel spending in the United States will help the very people who are currently finding it hardest to secure employment. Last year, the U.S. travel industry supported 14.1 million jobs, including 7.4 million directly in the travel industry and 6.7 million in other industries," Huether said in his analysis.
"If policymakers in Washington, D.C., want this economy to create jobs faster, we should improve the U.S. visa system and make it easier for international travelers to visit the United States. China, India and Brazil collectively spent close to $15 billion in the U.S. in 2010, which supported 105,800 U.S. jobs. Bringing in more overseas visitors is a proven jobs program that works; just ask the 1.8 million American workers that were supported by foreign travel to the United States last year."