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. 

After six consecutive months of job growth in L&H, no jobs were added in August. Even after 6 months of growth, L&H still accounts for 32% of all jobs lost and not yet recovered. And while the sector’s unemployment rate has generally shifted down, at 9.1% it is still much higher than the 5.2% total unemployment rate in the total 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                
  Jan. Feb. Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Change in L&H jobs (thousands) -17 413 227 328 319 397 415 0

 

Change in total non-farm jobs (thousands)

233 536 785 269 614 962 1,053 235

 

L&H share of total jobs gained

N/A 77% 29% 122% 52% 41% 39% 0%

 

% of pre-pandemic L&H jobs still lost

22% 20% 19% 17% 15% 12% 10% 10%

 

L&H as % of total jobs still lost

39% 37% 37% 35% 33% 32% 31% 32%

 

L&H Unemployment rates

15.9% 13.5% 13.0% 10.8% 10.1% 10.9% 9.0% 9.1%