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Travel and employment trending upwards across the Brazos Valley

Posted at 6:31 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 19:44:00-04

BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — People are feeling confident to get up and get moving again. The economic indicator numbers recently released are showing a rise in employment and travel for the Brazos Valley.

Easterwood Airport is seeing a rise in foot traffic. Their numbers from March are at 63% percent of travel compared to what they were before the pandemic. They are just a little above halfway there to reaching pre-pandemic numbers.

There are 400 more travelers for the month of March than there were a year ago.

”We’re currently doing better in a sense if you look at just this ratio of current travel versus travel two years ago were doing better than nationwide,” said Dennis Jansen the Director of the Private Enterprise Research Center.

This mobility has also shown an effect on other industries still struggling to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

The Tru by Hilton Bryan-College Station recently had their second fully booked weekend of the year.

”After a year of things being really quiet getting those full weekends back, it’s exciting for us to see people coming in traveling and having a full hotel again,” Katy Hayes, front office and sales manager for Tru by Hilton in Bryan College Station.

People are traveling and feeling more comfortable to also get back in the workforce. According to the employment index for BCS in march most industries have seen an increase in employment, people are looking and employers are hiring.

“If you look at these different industries, you know, some of them are basically very close to where we were at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Jansen.

The trade transportation and utility sector has seen the best return in employment with a little over 100% percent of its pre-pandemic employment numbers. Government, as well as education and health services industries, are also almost back employment numbers prior to the pandemic

The hospitality industry has had the slowest increase with 76 percent of this industry returning.

These numbers remain consistent with last month's numbers but are still down 23 percent from last year.

“We’re happy to see faces in the lobby again and no we’re not back to everything that we were doing pre-pandemic,” said Hayes.

Those in the hospitality industry recognize there is still much work to be done but are happy with the growth they have seen so far.

“Now I think as more people are able to get vaccinated, they feel more comfortable traveling it’s definitely a good thing, we’re headed in the right direction,” said Hayes.

Those I've spoken to say vaccination efforts are the main driving force to getting people back out there on the hunt for jobs and traveling.

The twin cities have remained the second-lowest in the state in the unemployment rate.