Leisure & Hospitality (L&H) is an official industry category defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). L&H employment trends are often used as a proxy for travel industry employment since there is significant overlap between the two categories.

The following document explains the similarities and differences between L&H and travel employment.

L&H data is available monthly from BLS.

Direct and Indirect travel employment is calculated annually by U.S. Travel and Tourism Economics.

L&H still accounts for 34% of all jobs lost and not yet recovered. And the sector’s unemployment rate, at 6.7%, is much higher than the 3.9% unemployment rate in the overall economy. These figures underscore how disproportionately the L&H sector was impacted by the pandemic.

The attached report, prepared by Tourism Economics, analyzes the latest trends in the L&H industry and is updated monthly.

Monthly L&H stats in 2021

 
May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Change in L&H jobs (thousands)
319 397 408 71 108 211 41 53
Change in total non-farm jobs (thousands)
614 962 1,091 483 379 648 249 199
L&H share of total jobs gained
52% 41% 37% 15% 28% 33% 16% 27%
% of pre-pandemic L&H jobs still lost
14.8% 12.5% 10.1% 9.7% 9.0% 7.8% 7.5% 7.2%
L&H as % of total jobs still lost
33% 32% 31% 32% 33% 33% 34% 34%
L&H Unemployment rates
10.1% 10.9% 9.0% 9.1% 7.7% 7.5% 7.5% 6.7%
Total economy unemployment rate
5.8% 5.9% 5.4% 5.2% 4.7% 4.6% 4.2% 3.9%