US Travel Finds December Jobs Report 'Underwhelming'

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its December employment report, which showed that the economy added just 199,000 jobs in the last month of 2021.

The leisure and hospitality sector trended upward but added just 53,000 jobs in December and a total of 2.6 million jobs in 2021. Still, employment in the industry is down 1.2 million jobs since February 2020, a loss of 7.2 percent.

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The U.S. Travel Association responded to the latest statistics, noting that they are “underwhelming.”

“The latest jobs report points to an uneven recovery for the Leisure & Hospitality sector, which had its second-worst performance since January 2021,” said U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes. “The small gains made are not enough to propel the sector toward a larger recovery, as more than 7% of all L&H jobs remain lost compared to just 2% for the rest of the U.S. economy.

Emerson Barnes called for more relief for businesses.

“As the spread of the omicron variant continues to impact travel, there remains a pressing need for Congress to provide additional federal relief and stabilizing policies that will enable the return of business travel, professional meetings and events, and international inbound travel,” she said.

Several bills are circulating in Congress that could help buoy the industry as it rides out the pandemic, including the Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act (H.R. 6161) and the SAVE Act (H.R. 2120).

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