The pandemic has been devastating for the leisure and hospitality sectors in the U.S., with 3.1 million jobs lost, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate in the accommodation sector specifically remains 330% higher than the rest of the economy. And, despite the trend toward loosening COVID-19-related restrictions among many states, “the road to recovery for the hotel industry is long,” as a press release from the American Hotel & Lodging Association put it Monday. It noted that while there has been an uptick in leisure for spring and summer, “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.”
The association released new data Monday on job losses in 2020 and projected job losses through the end of 2021. The five states projected to lose the most hotel industry jobs in 2021 are California (67,169), Florida (39,560), New York (38,028), Nevada (22,282) and Hawaii (20,029). The numbers are for direct hotel jobs like housekeepers and front-desk agents. New Jersey lost 15,851 hotel jobs in 2020, according to the study, compared to 2019 employment numbers. And it’s projected to lose 8,900 by the end of 2021.