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The U.S. leisure and hospitality industry in April lost 7.7 million jobs, a 47 percent drop, and was the worst-hit sector among non-farm payrolls for the second month in a row, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly report out Friday.
April was the first full month where the coronavirus pandemic raged in the United States. The job losses come on top of half a million jobs lost in leisure and hospitality in March.
It was food and drinking establishments, rather than hotels, that were most-impacted in April. The bureau stated that restaurants and bars lost 5.5 million jobs in April, or 71 percent of the total decline in leisure and hospitality employment.
The April job loss in leisure and hospitality was more than three times greater than the second-most-impacted sector, education and health services, which saw a decline of 2.54 million jobs.
“The April over-the-month decline is the largest in the history of the series and brought employment to its lowest level since February 2011 (the series dates back to 1939),” the bureau stated in releasing its April employment report on Friday.
The Washington Post, citing the bureau’s labor statistics, pointed out that the leisure and hospitality industry has given back in two months all of the jobs it grew in the U.S. since 1988.
The two-month employment drop, including March and April, reached 8.2 million in leisure and hospitality. Some 459,000 jobs were lost in leisure and hospitality in March, versus February, as the coronavirus pandemic began to take its toll. As in April, dining establishments and bars took the brunt of the hit.
In late April, the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics projected that the coronavirus pandemic would lead to the loss of 8 million jobs out of a total of 24 million in the U.S. economy.