The latest jobs report is a brutal reminder to U.S. hotels that if they don't find ways to make positions in the industry more appealing quickly, they can kiss goodbye any hopes of a full recovery soon.
U.S. hotels added 10,000 jobs in December, a decrease from the previous month amid the hotel industry’s ongoing inability to approach pre-Covid employment levels.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed in its monthly jobs report released on Friday that leisure and hospitality — which includes hotels — added 67,000 jobs in December, roughly 30 percent of total jobs created in the U.S. Overall employment in the accommodation sector is still roughly 15 percent below January 2020 levels and December job growth in both hotels and the larger leisure and hospitality industry dropped from the previous month. Leisure and hospitality added 88,000 jobs in November while hotels were responsible for 26,000 new jobs.
Friday’s jobs report also revealed a substantial drop in the monthly average of new leisure and hospitality jobs added last year compared to 2021. Leisure and hospitality added an average of 79,000 jobs per month in 2022, significantly less than the average month gain of 196,000 jobs the previous year.
The U.S. added 223,000 new jobs in December, representing the 24th consecutive month of job growth. The U.S. employment rate dropped to 3.5 percent last month from 3.7 in November.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) reported in October that 87 percent of hotels surveyed indicated they are experiencing a staffing shortage, 36 percent severely so. The most critical need was housekeeping, with 43 percent ranking it as their biggest challenge.
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Photo credit: U.S. accommodation employment is still struggling to reach pre-pandemic levels. Alistair Berg / Getty Images