The U.S. travel industry continues to see an overall tight job market, benefiting from a strong economy that drove the unemployment rate to a half-century low, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But some individual travel companies experienced job cuts tied to retrenchment this year, providing a humbling context to Friday’s jobs report.

The year’s most extensive job cuts by a U.S. hotel company took place at MGM Resorts International, according to data tallied for Skift by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement and career-transitions company.

The Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International trimmed 2,040 positions through September 2019, according to the data. In January, the casino and hotel operator began to cut costs in an effort that would trim about $150 million a year over two years in labor cutbacks.

In the aviation sector, the largest job loss came at ABM Aviation, a subsidiary of publicly held facility management company ABM Industries. A few airlines dropped their service contracts with the company, switching vendors either in-house or to other providers.

ABM lost a contract with Delta Airlines, costing AMB 1,121 positions in Atlanta this year. It lost a contract with American Airlines that cost it about 600 jobs in Dallas, and lost a contract with United Airlines and had to cut 735 jobs in Chicago. It lost some other deals for cleaning planes, helping transport passengers in wheelchairs through the airport, and other services this year as well, for a total loss of more than 2,700 positions.

PrimeFlight Aviation Services, a similar facility service provider, lost a United Airlines contract that led to 1,174 job losses this year.

Please see this table for other notable job losses in the traveler accommodations, and airline and commercial passenger aviation sectors:

CompanyNumberReason
MGM Resorts International2,040cost-cutting
ABM Aviation2,707contract loss
PrimeFlight Aviation Services (United Airlines contractor)1,174contract loss
Coney Island and its amusement complex285restructuring
Bongo’s Cuban Café, Estefan Restaurant Walt Disney World Resort245closing
Desert Hills of New Mexico242no reason given
La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa241restructuring
Langham Boston231closing
Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel NYC Times Square215closing
Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina213restructuring
Clift Royal Sonesta206no reason given
Villas of Grand Cypress178restructuring
Monticello Casino & Raceway160closing
1 Hotel South Beach139no reason given
Bear Island132no reason given
Chelsea Park dba The Park129closing
Southwest Airlines Co.118no clear reason
Doubletree by Hilton New Bern115hurricane Florence
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.105restructuring
United Airlines (Houston)100outsourcing domestic
Radisson Suites Hotel Tucson82closing
Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel82no clear reason
AAR Aircraft Maintenance80demand downturn
Beachcomber Resort & Villas79closing
Diamond Resorts, The Modern Honolulu57restructuring
Alaska Airlines70restructuring
Sodexo American Airlines Admirals Club69contract loss
Twin Rivers Casino65competition
Westin Sheraton Vacation Services62no reason given
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts61closing
Holiday Inn San Antonio Airport, Interstate Management61closing
Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Service60closing
Lamplight Inn of Fort Myers56no reason given
La Loggia LLC, Tarry Lodge50closing
Airport Management Service LLC50no reason given
Eastern Airlines LLC50no reason given
Menzies Aviation50no reason given
Southern Airways Mokulele Airlines24acquisition/merger
Quin Central Park Hotel18restructuring
Allegheny County Airport Authority16cost-cutting
Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel10closing
Hotelbeds17restructuring
Mauna Kea Summit Adventures9government regulations

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

A strong economy has benefited U.S. hotels in strong guest bookings but has run up operational costs on the labor front due to labor shortages in some markets. But that pressure may be easing.

Hourly earnings in the hospitality segment representing hotels, motels, and inns of 50 or fewer people was $16.12 an hour in September, according to data pulled for Skift by Paychex, a payroll services firm.

That represented hourly earnings growth of 2.22 percent over the past 12 months in the traveler accommodation sector, which was slightly weaker than the 2.77 percent national rate. A decline of 1 percent in year-over-year weekly hours worked pulled down the earnings growth, Paychex said.

As for Friday’s federal jobs report, the leisure and hospitality sector grew by a seasonally adjusted 21,000 jobs in September, to 16.72 million.

Photo Credit: A view of the Bellagio hotel and resort in Las Vegas that's owned by MGM Resorts International. The largest job cuts of 2019 by a U.S. travel company came from MGM Resorts, according to data that Challenger, Gray & Christmas. MGM Resorts International