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Travel and tourism hiring grows, but are they good jobs?

Travel and tourism hiring grows, but are they good jobs?
Of the 7.5 million jobs in travel and tourism in the U.S., about 3 million are in food service, such as waiters, with a median salary of about $22,000 per year, according to David Huether, senior vice president for research for the U.S. Travel Assn.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Hiring for travel and tourism jobs has surged so much in the last few years that the industry has recovered 92% of the positions lost during the recession while the rest of the economy has only recovered 77%.

But some economists dismiss the swell in hiring, arguing that many travel and tourism jobs are part-time or minimum-wage positions, such as waiters.

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To address such disdain, the U.S. Travel Assn., the trade group for the nation’s travel industry, has analyzed data to show that most of those travel and tourism jobs generate a middle-class income.

Of the 7.5 million jobs in travel and tourism in the U.S., about 3 million are in food service, such as waiters, with a median salary of about $22,000 per year, according to David Huether, senior vice president for research for the U.S. Travel Assn.

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The other 4.5 million jobs offer salaries that range from a median annual salary of $27,000 for sales positions, such as travel agents, to $80,000 per year for management positions in hotels and restaurants, he said.

“Jobs in travel and tourism run a huge gamut,” Huether said.

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