Tourism industry estimates 4.6 million travel-related jobs lost due to coronavirus
The U.S. Travel Association is projecting that close to 5 million travel-related American jobs will be lost due to the coronavirus, according to an analysis the group released Tuesday.
The trade association estimated 4.6 million industry jobs will be eliminated, more than 25 percent of the 15.8 million Americans who work in the sector.
The association also said there will be a $809 billion hit to the U.S. economy due to the decrease in travel. Total spending on travel, which includes lodging, retail, restaurants, transportation and attractions, is projected to plunge by $355 billion this year — six times the impact 9/11 had on the industry.
U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow presented the projections to President Trump, Vice President Pence and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a meeting Tuesday with hotel executives and other travel representatives, according to the group.
“We know your industries are among the hardest hit,” Trump said at the meeting, according to a White House pool report. “We are going to come out stronger than ever before.”
Dow called for “aggressive and immediate disaster relief steps” after the meeting.
“The health crisis has rightly occupied the public’s and government’s attention, but a resulting catastrophe for employers and employees is already here and going to get worse,” Dow said in statement.
Travel-related employment losses alone will push the unemployment rate to 6.3 percent over the next few months, the analysis projected. In February, the jobless rate was 3.5 percent.
The airlines industry this week, through Airlines for America, requested $50 billion in the form of grants, loans and tax relief to weather the coronavirus downturn.
Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), are pushing back on the request, saying the priority should be helping ordinary Americans.
The White House is seeking a roughly $850 billion economic stimulus package from Congress to address the coronavirus’s economic impact.
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