How the US Could Have "467,000 More Jobs Right Now"

With the US’ nine-plus percent unemployment rate — and when no stone should be left unturned in boosting jobs — there’s a huge, and currently untapped, potential job creation engine in tourism.

Since just last April, Brazilians have spent $1.4 billion as tourists, an 83 percent increase from that same time frame the year before. However, it turns out those dollars are largely not being spent in the US. The giant and growing BRIC tourist numbers are not making it to the US to spend their money, and create jobs in the tourism industry, even though they want to, simply because it’s too hard to get in the US.

Time Magazine explains:

“The most lucrative target is Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy. In the past, most Brazilians used to come to the United States looking for work; now they come to spend money and create jobs. The spending would help the U.S. economy tremendously. The American tourism market has recovered slowly since 9-11, but it missed out on a decade of growth, according to Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association.

“‘We call it the lost decade. If we had just stayed on pace with the rest of the world, we would have generated $606 billion more dollars and have 467,000 more jobs right now,’ Dow said recently at the Pow Wow tourism trade show in San Francisco. The good news, he says, is that the problem is still fixable, and has some inexpensive solutions. By just extending the visa-waiver program to Brazil and Chile, he says, the United States could double visits from those countries in one year and quickly generate $10.3 billion in new tourism revenue while creating 95,100 new American jobs.

“The Travel Association has also proposed a simple, four-point plan for ‘common sense entry reforms’ that Dow says would create an estimated 1.3 million new jobs and bring in $858 billion into the U.S. economy by 2020. He insists the entry reforms, visa waivers and other ‘trusted traveler’ initiatives would not compromise U.S. national security, rather streamline it and let Homeland Security ‘focus more on finding bad guys rather than harassing the good guys.'”

Only 36 nations are on the US’ visa waiver list, and not a single one is in Latin America. Perhaps it’s time to revisit a policy that was designed with the US’ best interest in mind… for the US’ best interest. You can read more details in Time’s coverage on how letting Brazilians in could help the US economy.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning