Economists likely did a double take after looking at job numbers for the month of August as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report showing that employers added just 142,000 jobs last month, compared to a revised 212,000 jobs added in July.
This was the smallest gain for 2014 and much lower than the forecasted 225,000 monthly gain, though the August number may still be revised.
The travel industry, which had been experiencing a recent record growth in employment, also revealed that its numbers had edged down by 1,800 jobs in August. U.S. Travel's David Huether, senior vice president of research and economics, released the following statement:
"Consistent with the slowest overall employment gain of the past eight months, travel industry employment edged down slightly by 1,800 jobs last month. Similar to previous years, short-term slowdowns in travel employment at end of the summer are not uncommon and if history is any guide, travel employment should resume positive job growth in the months ahead.
Overall, the travel industry has added 62,000 jobs so far this year—an average monthly gain of 7,700 jobs. Travel jobs have made up four percent of total jobs added in 2014, and total travel employment now stands at nearly eight million direct jobs.
By any objective measure, the travel industry is still a leading force in getting Americans back to work. After losing close to half a million jobs in the Great Recession, the travel industry has added 755,000 jobs and has outpaced job creation in the rest of the economy by 39 percent.
Enacting policies in support of the travel industry such as expanding the Visa Waiver Program and renewing Brand USA, the public-private partnership that markets the United States as a tourism destination, would increase international visitors to the U.S. and create even more quality jobs. Just last year, 69.8 million international visitors to the U.S. directly supported 1.2 million American jobs."
A PDF version of the Bureau of Labor Statistic's August job report can be found at www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.