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Latest Employment and Export Numbers Confirm Travel’s Vital Role in U.S. Growth

October 6, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

David Huether, senior vice president for research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today’s U.S. employment and exports numbers.

The Labor Department announced last week that the U.S. economy added 248,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate dipped below six percent to 5.9 percent for the first time since July 2008.

“The travel industry continues to power our nation’s employment recovery, adding 8,700 jobs in September, four percent of overall non-farm employment added last month. A model of consistency, travel has added jobs 11 of the past 12 months and has expanded payrolls by 129,000 over the past year. Travel employment now stands at 7,998,000 direct jobs—just shy of eight million workers. “Travel continues to be a leading force in getting Americans back to work. After losing close to half a million jobs in the Great Recession, the travel industry has added 771,000 jobs and has outpaced job creation in the rest of the economy by 38 percent since the employment recovery began.”

Separately, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today that travel exports increased to $19.2 billion in August, up $0.2 billion from July. Travel continues to be a major force in overall export growth for the economy.

“Through August, total U.S. exports are up $49 billion compared to the first 8 months of last year, and travel exports accounted for 17 percent of this increase. Moreover, so far this year, travel exports have increased by 5.5 percent compared to last year, which is 84 percent faster than other U.S. export growth.

“These numbers without a doubt confirm that welcoming more international travelers to our shores is a powerful engine of economic growth for our country that will create more American jobs.”

As documented in U.S. Travel’s latest research report on Travel Exports, robust growth in travel exports has been a central reason why travel is responsible for creating jobs faster than the rest of the economy in recent years. Every $1 million in travel exports supports 6.6 American jobs.

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