David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on September 2012 Labor Department report.
“The Labor Department reported that the economy created 114,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest level in 45 months. Today’s report contained both good and bad news. While the good news is that the economy added jobs for a twenty-fourth consecutive month in September, the fact that the September employment rise was slower than the prior two months – and just over half the jobs created last September – it provides little evidence that the economy is rebounding from the slow growth that took place during the first half of this year.
“Employment in the travel industry edged down by 3,000 in September to 7,590,000 – the first monthly decline since last November – with declines seen in lodging and airline industries. Still, over the past 33 months, the travel industry has made up 57 percent of the jobs lost during the great recession, while the rest of the economy has only made up less than half of the jobs lost. This is because companies in the travel industry have added jobs at a 19 percent faster pace than employers in other sectors of the economy since the employment recovery began in the beginning of 2010.
“One of the reasons why the travel industry has been able to add jobs faster than other sectors of the economy has been the strength of travel exports, which have been growing faster than overall exports so far this year. For example, spending by every 33 overseas visitors traveling in the United States supports one American job, which is why continuing to expand travel exports is one of the best ways to get more Americans back to work.”