Stats: Economy Loses 700 Travel Booking Jobs in July

The hotel industry has struggled with a growing pool of open positions and high turnover as the U.S. unemployment rate hovers around 4 percent.
Photo by Getty Images/artisteer

Travel booking jobs fell slightly in July, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the sector losing 700 jobs for the month. Travel booking jobs are defined by the BLS as those tasked with providing travel arrangement and reservations services. 

For the year, travel booking jobs were down by 4,100 versus July 2018. As for the leisure and hospitality sector as a whole, it added 10,000 jobs during the month of July; leisure and hospitality was also up 338,000 jobs year-over-year. 

The overall economy added 164,000 jobs in July, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.7 percent, the BLS said. The number of unemployed persons was also relatively unchanged, at approximately 6.1 million. Professional and technical services, health care, social assistance and financial activities were the sector that saw the biggest gains during the month. 

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Hourly earnings, however, were up in the leisure and hospitality sector during July, according to a separate small business report from Paychex. In fact, the sector led the economy in hourly earnings growth. A significant decrease in weekly hours worked brought weekly earnings growth down nearly a full percent, however. 

Looking ahead, next year could see a damper on travel demand due to international trade tensions, according to a forecast by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). At the same time, tempered demand along with a global hotel construction boom will cause hotel prices to hold steady, with some key markets, such as New York City, even seeing declines. 

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