Despite Jobs Gains, Leisure & Hospitality Sector Hamstrung by Lack of Int’l and Business Travel

Published on : Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Leisure & Hospitality industry gained 331,000 jobs in April—outperforming the overall U.S. jobs increase of 266,000, and offsetting jobs losses in other sectors.

The sector’s unemployment rate continued to decline, from 15.9% in January to 13.0% in March and just 10.8% April—but remains significantly worse than overall U.S. unemployment (6%).

Despite the gains in recent months, 17% of Leisure & Hospitality jobs have been lost (and not yet recovered) since February 2020. Leisure & Hospitality also accounts for 35% of all U.S. jobs still lost since February of last year.

“Leisure & Hospitality is significantly outperforming overall job creation even though travel in the U.S. is only operating at just over half strength,” said U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes. “International travel and business travel accounted for 41% of all travel spending in 2019, but those two segments remain virtually halted.

“This disappointing jobs report would have been significantly worse without Leisure & Hospitality, and we’re missing a huge opportunity to restore jobs by not prioritizing the reopening of two key segments of the travel industry.”

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