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Visitors to a New Jersey boardwalk on Memorial Day, 2019. Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Unemployment among the 15.8 million travel workers in the U.S. has topped 51% heading into Memorial Day weekend, per data cited by the U.S. Travel Association.

The state of play: Research firm Tourism Economics projects that U.S. travel spending during Memorial Day weekend will total $4.2 billion this year — approximately one-third of the $12.3 billion spent in 2019. Tourism makes up 2.8% of the U.S. economy, as of last year.

  • The U.S. is reporting over 1.5 million coronavirus cases and more than 91,000 deaths.

The overwhelming majority of communities across America have moved into their first phase of reopening, allowing residents to visit businesses with tightened occupancy limits and social distancing requirements.

  • But many people remain weary of travel, hitting counties and states that depend on tourism dollars the hardest.
  • The Brookings Institution projects that places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Kahului, Hawaii will suffer most during the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're saying: U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow wrote in a statement, "Our national economy is in a recession, but the travel industry is already in a depression."

  • "The travel industry has exhibited the ability to lead a national economic recovery, bouncing back well ahead of expectations after both 9/11 and the financial crisis of the late 2000s," he added.
  • "But to do that this time, travel-reliant businesses need to survive until a recovery can truly begin."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why the Dow Jones shook up its members

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Dow Jones Industrial Average announced a major shakeup on Monday after the market closed — it booted Pfizer, Raytheon Technologies and ExxonMobil, the oldest member of the index, having joined in 1928.

What happened: Salesforce, Amgen and Honeywell will replace those companies to "help diversify the index ... and adding new types of businesses that better reflect the American economy," S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a note announcing the changes.

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.