New York and Connecticut together lost about 60,000 hospitality-related jobs last year and could shed another 44,000 this year, according to the latest data from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

All told, the AHLA said the U.S. lost 672,316 hotel industry jobs last year due to the coronavirus. It estimates another 478,245 could be lost this year if Congress does not provide targeted relief.

The group said that hotels are the only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid from the federal government.

The release of the data follows the April 28 introduction of the Save Hotel Jobs Act, which would provide targeted federal relief to the ailing hotel industry workforce, including up to three months of full payroll support.

The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Florida), has been endorsed by both AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest hospitality workers union in North America.

AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said that although a recent uptick in leisure travel for spring and summer is encouraging for hotels, business travel — the largest source of hotel revenue — is down 85% and is not expected to begin its slow return until the second half of this year. Full recovery is not expected until 2024.

Rogers added that the unemployment rate in the accommodation sector remains 330% higher than the rest of the economy.

Nearly 200 hotels have permanently closed in New York City, the AHLA said. The Empire State recorded 51,382 lost hospitality jobs in 2020 and is projected to lose another 38,028 this year.

California tops both lists, with 90,977 positions lost in 2020 and a predicted loss of 67,169 jobs in 2021.

Connecticut lost 8,799 hospitality jobs last year and is projected to shed another 5,904 this year.

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