Consistent with weak performances in many sectors of the economy, positive employment growth in the travel industry paused in September, with the number of workers employed in travel edging down by 2,800, according to David Huether, senior vice president of research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association. Huether's commented on the Labor Department announcement that the U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate edged down to 7.2 percent:
"Although jobs in transportation increased in the month, jobs loss was seen in some key travel segments such as lodging, amusements, gambling, recreation, food services and drinking places," Huether said.
"Still, since the employment recovery started in early 2010, the travel industry has been a significant source of employment growth for the economy, adding almost a half million jobs. Travel has outpaced employment growth in the rest of the economy, making up 88 percent of jobs lost during the recession, compared to 80 percent of jobs in all other sectors," Huether said.
"The slowdown in employment growth clearly shows that the economy still hasn't been nursed all the way back to full health yet—and today's report doesn't even reflect the October government shutdown, which cost the overall economy $152 million per day in travel-related spending and potentially affected 450,000 workers," Huether said.
"Unfortunately, we can expect next month's report to show that travel employment was badly hampered by the shutdown, and by itself it should send a clear message to policymakers in Washington: please don't put the economy through this again when the current fiscal deal expires in a couple of months," Huether commented.