Travel is rising, as was evident this past Labor Day weekend, 2023. According to the TSA, nearly 1 million more travelers passed through airports than did pre-pandemic in 2019. However, a government shutdown may happen within the next few weeks, which could affect travelers.
TSA Numbers Rise, Resulting In A Need For More Airport Employees
As mentioned above, the TSA saw an increase in the number of travelers screened at airports around the United States during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
In 2019, TSA screened 8.6 million passengers. In 2023, 9.5 million passengers were screened by TSA over the same holiday weekend.
Because of the increase in travelers, the Federal Aviation Administration plans to hire 1,800 air traffic controllers over the next year, pending government funding approval.
Congress has a few weeks to act in order to prevent a government shutdown. According to the U.S. Travel Association, the partial government shutdown in 2018-2019 cost an estimated $100 million per day from travel alone.
Estimates are still being made regarding the 2023 situation, but a government shutdown would delay many sectors in the industry.
Job Openings Remain High In Leisure And Hospitality Industry
Job openings in the leisure & hospitality sector remain at 1.2 million. This number is high compared to the rest of the economy.
To help, the U.S. Travel Association is asking Congress to increase the number of H-2B visas for workers that can help with the workforce shortage.
While travel continues to thrive, a government shutdown and a shortage of workers may stifle economic growth for travel. Additionally, travelers may face delays, disruptions and possible travel cancellations. As always, planning and providing for extra time can help when hitting the road or taking to the skies.