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WhatAccording to a new study from the U.S. Travel Association, travel industry jobs lead to higher wages and offer excellent career and financial stability — and they also offer better compensation than manufacturing and health care jobs.
Why It MattersFindings from the report include that travel is the No. 1 industry for first jobs (nearly four in 10 workers got their start in travel and tourism); those who began their career in travel have gone on to earn a peak average salary of $82,400; and 31% of those reentering the workforce do so through a travel job. It’s clear: Travel is important to our workforce and economy.
Fast Facts- The study, Made in America: Travel's Contribution to Workforce Development, is the second in U.S. Travel Association’s Made in America series spotlighting the importance of travel for the U.S. economy. The report primarily relies on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979 and 1997 to explore the career path of individuals whose first job was in the travel industry.
- Those who began their career in travel and have earned a peak average salary of $82,400 have done so by the time they were 50 years old, which is higher than individuals who started in manufacturing, health care and other industries.
- Just 12% Americans who have reentered the workforce did so through manufacturing jobs, and 8% in health care, compared to the nearly one-third who chose a travel job.
- Travel industry jobs provide flexibility for pursuit of higher education and training: Of the 6.1 million Americans working part-time while pursuing higher education in 2018, more than half were employed in travel-related industries. Nearly one in five (18%) travel industry employees currently attend school, compared to the 8% of workers attending school in other sectors of the economy.
- The travel industry is diverse and accessible compared to other industries: Nearly half (46%) of travel industry employees have a high school degree or less, compared to 30% of employees of the rest of the economy. Travel also has a greater share of Hispanics, African Americans and multi-ethnic individuals than the rest of the economy.
- Experience in travel fosters entrepreneurs: 17% of Americans whose first job was in travel now own their own business, and 19% consider themselves entrepreneurs — a higher figure than manufacturing and health care. Of women who started their career in the travel industry, 14% now consider themselves entrepreneurs, compared to 10% of those who started in health care.
- The travel industry fills the skills gap: Through training, education, certification programs and firsthand experience, the industry is providing resources and opportunities for high school and college students, minorities, females and individuals with barriers to employment such as the lack of a formal education.
What They Are Saying“Like many Americans, my first job was in the travel industry — as a lifeguard at a hotel pool — and it gave me the foundation of skills and opportunities that led to a long and rewarding career," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association. "Travel industry jobs are uniquely accessible to all Americans and provide a path to a solid, lifelong livelihood. Simply put, travel is the gateway to the American dream."
"This report further reinforces the fact that travel matters to jobs and the economy in our country, and our government should prioritize pro-travel policies to ensure the industry continues to grow," he said.
The DetailsU.S. Travel Associationwww.ustravel.org