Westin Chef Flames

By James Wilkinson at IPW in Chicago

Travel employment hitting an all-time high has been the buzz at this week’s U.S. Travel Association IPW in Chicago.

The record figures were released by the U.S Labor Department at the event this week (Apr 7), which is attracting over 6200 delegates from across the world.

The U.S. Travel Association’s Senior Vice President of Research and Economics, David Huether, said record numbers were great news for the industry.

“Further solidifying its claim as one of the most crucial sectors for job creation, the travel industry banked yet another employment record in March, growing to nearly 7.9 million direct U.S. jobs,” he said.

“The industry’s previous employment high of just under 7.8 million was set in February of 2008, prior to the Great Recession.

“The industry’s performance is especially remarkable given the long and harsh winter. The industry has proved its resilience by adding 31,000 jobs through the first quarter of 2014.

“The overall economy, meanwhile, continues to lag, recovering only 95 percent of jobs since the recession. Travel has added jobs at a rate 17 percent faster than the economy since the recovery began in 2010.

“The industry first touched the old record in October 2013, according to revised data, and has not looked back, posting new gains in each month since.

“One of the main reasons behind this faster growth is that travel is more export-oriented, more labor intensive, and more immune to offshore outsourcing than other sectors of the economy.

“It is essential to put the right policies in place, such as the JOLT Act, to make it easier for international visitors to come to the U.S. to conduct business through face-to-face interactions at events, including U.S. Travel’s IPW next week, and spend millions of dollars, generating solid, middle-class jobs,” he said.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management