David Huether, senior vice president for research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on last Thursday’s Labor Department employment report and the Commerce Department export report released today:
“Employment in the travel industry is on a roll. Following a gain of 32,500 jobs in May—the largest monthly gain in nearly three years—travel employment continued the positive trend and rose moderately in June to reach a new record high of over 8.1 million.
“These numbers show just how strong a contributor the travel industry is to the U.S. economy. In the first half of 2015 alone, the travel industry added 48,600 jobs, and since the overall employment recovery began in early 2010, the travel industry has outpaced job growth in the rest of the economy by 33 percent.
“Even in the challenging environment of sluggish economic growth abroad and the increasing value of the dollar, travel exports grew 1.3 percent during the first 5 months this year compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, exports of all other goods and services are down 3.2 percent.
“At a time when exports of all other goods and services declined for the eighth time in the past 12 months, travel exports continue to buck the trend, growing for the eighth time during the same time period. Since May 2009, travel exports have risen by 58 percent—21 percent faster than the rise in other exports of goods and services.
“In order to continue this consistent growth in the travel sector—and the overall economy—it is essential that our political leaders look to policies that are pro-competition, pro-growth and pro-traveler and to actions that welcome more international visitors to our shores, which directly supported nearly 1.1 million jobs and contributed $180 billion to the economy in 2014 alone.”