Leisure & hospitality sector adds 128K jobs

The leisure and hospitality sector added 128,000 jobs in January—the most of any sector—according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Overall, the economy added 517,000 jobs. Both the unemployment rate, at 3.4%, and the number of unemployed persons, at 5.7 million, changed little in January. The unemployment rate has shown little net movement since early 2022.

“Today’s jobs report—in which 25% of all new jobs were added in the leisure and hospitality sector—is further evidence that travel is essential to the U.S. economy,” said Geoff Freeman, president/CEO, U.S. Travel Association. “Travel’s success is the nation’s success, and robust travel demand is supercharging our nation’s economic recovery and job growth.”

Despite these positive numbers the industry still has more jobs to fill. “The industry currently has nearly 2 million open jobs despite returning to pre-pandemic employment levels,” he added. “Bringing more temporary workers to the U.S.—in addition to enacting other priorities to spur travel demand and growth—should be a top priority for the federal government.”