In spite of a surging dollar, the travel industry continues to grow, according to the U.S. Travel Association, which last week reported the latest travel employment and export data from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, travel industry employment increased for the seventh consecutive month in January, rising by 13,500 to a total of 8.1 million jobs.
"The employment gain generated last month was slightly larger than the average monthly rise in 2014, a good indication that the industry is starting off the year on solid footing," U.S. Travel Senior Vice President for Research and Economics David Huether said in a statement. "Since the employment recovery began, the travel industry has added 861,000 jobs and has outpaced job growth in the rest of the economy by 36 percent."
Meanwhile, travel exports grew for the second consecutive month in December, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, increasing by $400 million.
"Despite concerns of the rising dollar affecting international visitation to the U.S., travel edged out nearly all other industry exports, totaling $222.3 billion in 2014, the second-largest industry export, and rose to 9.5 percent of total U.S. exports, a nine-year high," Huether continued. "On the year, more than one in nine (11.5 percent) new U.S. export dollars was spent by a foreign traveler in the U.S., contributing to a $75.7 billion trade surplus for the U.S. economy. Without this surplus, the U.S. trade deficit would have been 15 percent larger."
For a recap of recent top stories, check out MeetingNews Minute: