Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Crushing Job Losses in Leisure and Hospitality

In the state of Idaho, jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry inched up by 0.5 percent between October 2019 and October 2020. That's the good news—the only good news. In every other state, leisure and hospitality jobs fell during the year ending in October 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a crushing blow to the industry, which is comprised of businesses offering accommodation (hotels and motels), food services (restaurants and bars), arts, entertainment and recreation (performing arts, spectator sports, museums, historical sites, casinos, amusement parks). 

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia had fewer leisure and hospitality industry jobs in October 2020 than they had one year earlier. In 44 states, the job decline was in the double digits. Hawaii saw the steepest plunge, with a 49.6 percent decrease in jobs. New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Michigan, and the District of Columbia all experienced declines of greater than 30 percent. Only Montana, Kentucky, Wyoming, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Mississippi registered year-over-year job declines of less than 10 percent. 

As the coronavirus pandemic swept the country last spring, jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry nationally fell by a stunning 47 percent—from 16.1 million in March to just 8.5 million in April. In every month since April, however, the industry has regained jobs. But the 13.4 million leisure and hospitality jobs of October 2020 were still 20 percent short of the 16.7 million in October 2019.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Leisure and Hospitality Employment in Hawaii Down 49.6 Percent for Year Ended October 2020

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