David Huether, senior vice president for research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today’s Labor Department employment report and the Commerce Department export reportreleased earlier this week:
“The travel industry continued to propel the economy forward in July, adding 13,400 travel jobs to reach a new record level of over 8.1 million. Travel continues to be a consistent job creator and strong contributor to the U.S. economy, adding jobs 17 of the last 20 months and 53,600 jobs so far this year. That’s more than the 49,000 jobs added by the entire manufacturing sector so far in 2015.
“Since the employment recovery began, the travel industry has added 869,200 jobs and has outpaced job growth in the rest of the economy by 32 percent.
“One of the reasons the travel industry has been adding jobs faster than the rest of the economy: international trade. Earlier this week, the Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit expanded by over five percent in June to $43.8 billion. The expansion of the trade deficit came mostly from a surge of imports, which grew by nearly $2.8 billion during the month of June. Exports also declined for the second consecutive month, this time by $100 million.
“Meanwhile, travel exports remain strong at $18.7 billion in June, falling only slightly from May. Travel receipts—spending in the U.S. by foreign travelers—increased to an all-time high of $15.4 billion in June.
“Travel exports as a whole, however, have performed better than other goods and services exports in the first half of 2015. Whereas total goods and services exports have fallen 2.9 percent, travel exports have expanded by 1.3 percent compared to the first half of last year. As a result, travel exports have accounted for nearly 10 percent of all U.S. goods and services exports during the first half of 2015.”