Travel is good for you, and good for the USA.
A new study by U.S. Travel Association, Travel: America’s Unsung Hero of Job Creation, uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to show the economic might of the travel industry in America—particularly the quality of the industry’s jobs, and the large number created by small businesses.
Among key findings:
- Americans whose first job is in a travel-related industry obtain an average career salary of $81,900—significantly higher than those whose first jobs are in manufacturing, construction, health care and most other U.S. industries.
- Nearly 40 percent of workers who begin their career in travel reach an annual career salary of more than $100,000.
- The leisure and hospitality sector, which is heavily dependent on travel, is the No. 1 small-business employer in the United States.
- From 2010 to 2016, travel jobs increased by 17 percent, compared to 13 percent job growth in the rest of the private sector.
- Travel employment grew in all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2015—and in 47 states, the travel industry created jobs faster than the rest of the economy.
- Last year, international travel directly supported 1.2 million American jobs.
- Travel is America’s largest service export, valued at $246 billion in 2016, and second-largest industry export overall.
“Today’s report highlights what our industry already knew: Travel puts Americans to work,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO for U.S. Travel Association. “Travel to and within our country is growing, and we cannot afford to compromise the amazing benefits it brings to workers and their families across the country. Our government leaders can spur even further economic growth and job creation through continued support for Brand USA and smart, effective visa policies that make our nation more secure, even as they facilitate travel for legitimate visitors.
“More importantly, though, travel jobs are good, nonexportable jobs, with a unique capacity for career advancement. I’m an example of this myself. I started my career in the travel industry as a lifeguard at what was then a 12-hotel chain called Marriott. Many years later, I departed the company, which by then had expanded worldwide, as the senior vice president of global sales.”