“By the Numbers” is a periodic look at data on the travel economy from sources outside of the U.S. Travel Association, examining how the numbers align with U.S. Travel’s own research and analysis. This iteration looks at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019–2029 employment projections.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2019–2029 employment projections paint a dire picture for travel-related industries over the next decade, driving increased urgency behind U.S. Travel’s months-long advocacy efforts to provide federal relief and stimulus to this hard-hit economic sector.

According to a New York Times analysis, the occupations facing the greatest peril over the next 10 years are largely related to travel and hospitality—underscoring how disproportionately the pandemic has devastated the travel industry. This report follows a disappointing January jobs report which saw 61,000 jobs lost by the Leisure & Hospitality sector.

Using a projection scenario in which the pandemic would have a “strong impact” between 2019-2029, the 10 occupations in which the "strong-impact scenario" differs most from BLS’ original projections (September 2020) that did not consider pandemic effects include:

  • Hosts and hostesses, restaurant, lounge and coffee shop (-24.2%)
  • Bartenders (-18.6%)
  • Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks (-16.7%)
  • Hotel, motel and resort desk clerks (-16.2%)
  • Waiters and waitresses (-16.0%)
  • Receptionists and information clerks (-13.5%)
  • Cashiers (-13.5%)
  • Flight attendants (-11.7%)
  • Subway and streetcar operators (-11.5%)
  • Bus drivers, transit and intercity (-10.9%)

Travel industry workers currently struggling amid the pandemic will experience little relief in the long term unless more is done to protect and restore jobs. U.S. Travel has engaged Congress and the Biden administration on relief priorities to help travel businesses stay afloat and keep workers on payrolls:

  • Extend and enhance the Paycheck Protection Program to provide a third draw for businesses that continue to face difficulties due to COVID-19.
  • Provide grants for hard-hit sectors within the travel industry.
  • Provide $2.25 billion in EDA grants to promote safe and healthy travel practices.
  • Provide $17 billion in additional relief for commercial airports and airport concessionaires.

Additional recovery strategies will be needed to shorten the industry’s recovery period and restore American jobs more quickly, which U.S. Travel is pursuing:

  • Provide tax incentives to support the restoration of travel jobs.
  • Help travel businesses cover the cost of COVID-19 prevention efforts.

Millions of hardworking Americans’ livelihoods rely on the travel industry—we cannot allow the BLS employment projection to become a reality. U.S. Travel will continue working with Congress and the administration to protect and restore travel jobs as quickly as possible.