U.S. hotels' disappointing job growth for November is just the latest sign the sector is struggling to attract the workers needed for a full recovery.
The U.S. hotel industry again managed to add jobs in November. But just like in October, the sector saw hiring numbers fall from the previous month.
Employment in the sector is down about 196,500 jobs – or 9.4% – from February 2020 levels.
The weak growth in November is a big difference from the same month last year. U.S. hotels added 18,300 jobs in November 2022.
“Today’s jobs report underscores the fact that labor shortages will continue to be one of the main challenges hoteliers face for the foreseeable future. Hotels barely added more than 1,000 jobs from October to November, and it’s not for lack of trying. Wages are at near-historic levels, and benefits and flexibility are better than ever before,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
“But a nationwide shortage of workers is preventing hotels from regaining all the jobs we lost to the pandemic. That’s why AHLA is calling on Congress to help address our industry’s workforce challenges, to include establishing an H-2B returning worker exemption, passing the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, and passing the H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers (HIRE) Act.”
Meanwhile, the broader leisure and hospitality category — which includes hotels — added about 40,000 new jobs in November, representing a little more than a fifth of the total jobs created in the U.S. last month.
The U.S. added 199,000 jobs in November, beating economists’ projections and surpassing October’s unrevised figure of 150,000 jobs added. The U.S. employment rate dropped to 3.7% in November from 3.9% the previous month.
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Photo credit: Maid with housekeeping cart. U.S. hotel increased slightly in November. STEFANOLUNARDI / Getty Images