The latest jobs report is giving those in the travel industry hope. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. added 916,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to six percent.
The leisure and hospitality sector gained 280,000 jobs in the month of March; however, there is still a long way to go. The industry’s unemployment rate is far higher than the nation overall at 13 percent.
The U.S. Travel Association noted that these recent numbers are a good sign for travel and those who work in leisure and hospitality.
“The rise in leisure and hospitality jobs is a clear sign that an increase in travel and related activities corresponds to an increase in jobs, so maintaining employment growth will depend upon the broad restart of travel, particularly as vaccinations increase and health safeguards remain in place across the travel industry,” said U.S. Travel’s president and CEO Roger Dow. “It is important, however, to keep in mind that leisure and hospitality jobs account for almost 40 percent of all the U.S. jobs lost in 2020, so we are still way behind in terms of a recovery.”
LendingTree’s chief economist, Tendayi Kapfidze, noted that the vaccine is vital to perpetuating this upward trend.
“Looking ahead, the evolution of the labor market is tied intricately to the vaccine rollout and the trend in new COVID cases and deaths,” said Kapfidze. “Enabling increased travel this spring and summer will be vital to this industry’s recovery and the economy as a whole.”
Additionally, Dow further highlighted the devastation that the travel industry has suffered over the last year and encouraged Americans to get vaccinated in order to travel more safely and freely.
“The year-long halt on travel has devastated U.S. employment, with travel-supported jobs accounting for 65 percent of all U.S. jobs lost last year, and this is an opportunity to begin reclaiming a lot of what’s been lost,” said Dow. “The travel industry’s mantra throughout the pandemic has been to be guided by the science, which clearly shows that now is the right time for this move. Meanwhile, it remains important that all eligible Americans get vaccinated as soon as they can in order to more quickly recover the ability for all to travel freely.”