BLS: US Hospitality Employment Gains in September

Total U.S. leisure and hospitality employment in September rose month over month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly jobs report released Friday.

About 83,000 U.S. leisure and hospitality jobs in September, according to the BLS, which noted that “employment in leisure and hospitality is below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 1.1 million (6.7 percent).”

The US Labor Department reported that total “nonfarm payrolls rose 263,000 against an expectation of 250,000, bringing the unemployment rate down to 3.5 percent against a flat 3.7 percent expectation.”

The jobs report follows several new collaborations and partnerships struck in recent months to improve hotel shortages.

An AHLA survey of almost 200 hoteliers last month found that 36 per cent of respondents considered themselves ‘severely’ understaffed. The AHLA Foundation has partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps to prepare hospitality students for the workforce with “real world” experience. The collaboration offers training and apprenticeship programs through career fairs, classroom visits, networking events and professional development training.

Smaller efforts to influence local industry challenges are also emerging. Private hospitality company Placemakr has partnered with Marymount University in Virginia to create a mixed-use hospitality and residential property, Placemakr Marymount Ballston, not only to operate commercially, but also to use as a training site for hospitality students.

How well such programs will address the immediate needs of the hospitality industry remains to be seen. The AHLA survey found that household shortages were cited as the biggest current challenge.

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