By Kelly Monaghan
Maybe you’ve been following the news about how job growth in the United States is, shall we say, tepid and how the issue is becoming a hot potato in the presidential race. Or maybe, like me, you’ve just been putting your fingers in your ears and humming loudly whenever political news comes on. If so forgive me for bringing up the topic.
Yes, the job situation is on the sucky side. But here’s the surprising news — and the occasion for this post:
The travel industry is creating jobs at a pace that is 26 percent faster than the rest of the economy, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Since March 2011, the beginning of the recovery, the travel industry has added 271,00 new jobs.
Now, obviously, all these jobs are not jobs for travel agents, home-based or otherwise. But some of them probably are!
More important, what this data suggests to me is that travel represents a particularly resilient and vigorous sector of the economy. People love to travel and no economic downturn is going to change that. Barring economic catastrophe (and, regrettably, some families are facing that), people will continue to vacation. They may take shorter less expensive vacations than they did in the past, but they will take that vacation.
I frequently find myself having to slay the dragon that proclaims “travel agents are a dying breed.” And the notion that “no one can afford to travel anymore” is another example of the kind of misinformation that all too quickly comes to be accepted as true.
David Heuther of the U.S. Travel Association noted that “Two reasons why employment growth in the travel sector has been outpacing the rest of the economy in recent years are that jobs in the travel industry cannot be outsourced abroad or easily replaced through automation.” Good point.
So if your job was recently outsourced or has fallen victim to automation, maybe it’s time to do something you love and become a home-based travel agent. That’s where the job growth is.
A hat tip to TravelMole, which covered this story.