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 33% of all jobs lost and not yet recovered. And while the sector’s unemployment rate has generally shifted down, at 7.5% it is still much higher than the 4.6% 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

 
Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Change in L&H jobs (thousands)
227 328 319 397 408 71 88 164
Change in total non-farm jobs (thousands)
785 269 614 962 1,091 483 312 531
L&H share of total jobs gained
29% 122% 52% 41% 37% 15% 28% 31%
% of pre-pandemic L&H jobs still lost
18.7% 16.7% 14.8% 12.5% 10.1% 9.7% 9.1% 8.2%
L&H as % of total jobs still lost
37% 35% 33% 32% 31% 32% 33% 33%
L&H Unemployment rates
13.0% 10.8% 10.1% 10.9% 9.0% 9.1% 7.7% 7.5%
Total economy unemployment rate
6.0% 6.1% 5.8% 5.9% 5.4% 5.2% 4.8% 4.6%