U.S. hotels are finding workers but employment in the sector remains nearly 10% below February 2020 levels.
U.S. hotels added workers in October, though fewer than they had in the previous month.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed Friday that hotels added roughly 6,700 jobs in October, down from 11,700 in September. Employment in the sector is roughly 201,7000 jobs – or 9.6% – below February 2020 levels.
The broader leisure and hospitality category — which includes hotels — accounted for roughly 29% of the total jobs created in the U.S.
That meant about 19,000 jobs in October, below the monthly average of 52,000 over the previous 12 months.
Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, was pleased that hotels added jobs but noted ongoing challenges.
“A nationwide shortage of workers is preventing hotels from regaining all the jobs we lost to the pandemic,” said Rogers. “There are a number of steps Congress can take to help address our industry’s workforce challenges. Those include establishing an H-2B returning worker exemption, passing the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, and passing the H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers Act.”
The U.S. added 150,000 jobs in October, a significant decrease from the previous month’s revised gain of 297,000 jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.9% from 3.8% in September.
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Photo credit: The U.S. hotel industry's growth rate slowed in October from the previous month. Luis Alvarez / Getty Images