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The U.S. Travel Association (U.S. Travel)—the non-profit organization that represents the interests of the nation’s travel industry—today issued its reaction to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) revised January employment report.
The report reveals the past several months’ worth of corrected data, which confirms that 10 percent of pre-pandemic leisure and hospitality jobs remain lost due to the impact of COVID-19. That 10 percent of sector employment represents a whopping 61 percent of overall jobs in the U.S. that have been lost on account of the pandemic.
“While the overall jobs report today may be good news for some, the revised BLS data now confirms an even bigger revelation, that 61 percent, or nearly two-thirds, of all jobs still lost due to the pandemic are in the Leisure & Hospitality sector,” Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at U.S. Travel, Tori Emerson Barnes, said in a statement. “The uneven recovery of the travel sector is due in large part to the lack of inbound international travelers, and the deep reduction in business travel, and professional meetings and events.”
She added, “There could not be a more pressing time for Congress to implement short-term priorities to stimulate this vital contributor to the U.S. economy and rebuild American jobs.” For months now, U.S. Travel has been petitioning Congress to provide further financial relief and incentives that would help to bolster the ailing travel sector.
The organization has already put measures before Congress that would aid the travel industry’s recovery, including:
— A higher cap on H-2B visas, to ease the absence of labor for the over one million job openings in the leisure and hospitality industry.
— The Restoring Brand USA Act, which would provide $250 million in emergency funding for Brand USA.
— Targeted, temporary tax credits and deductions to stimulate spending on business travel, live entertainment and in-person events.
— Additional funding for relief grants to severely impacted travel businesses.