David Huether, senior vice president for economics and research at the U.S. Travel Association, reacts to Friday's Labor Department employment report:
"Travel industry jobs continued their strong positive trend even as the pace of overall job growth decelerated in December. The industry added 11,000 jobs in December and accounted for an impressive 15 percent of the country's overall employment gains last month.
"Looking back at 2013, while the overall economy created fewer new jobs during the past 12 months, the 119,000 jobs created by the travel industry was actually 22,000 more jobs than were added in 2012. Since the overall employment recovery began in early 2010, the travel industry has been adding jobs at a nine percent faster rate than the rest of the economy.
"As of December 2013, the travel industry has made up 99 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, compared to 86 percent of the rest of the economy, and is just 5,000 short of its prerecession level of employment. Moreover, the travel industry stands just 57,000 short of its record employment level set in December 2000. With the travel industry on average creating 10,000 jobs per month in 2013, and with the growth of travel employment on an accelerating path, a new record level of employment in the travel industry is likely around mid-year in 2014."