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Hospitality Industry Hiring Workers


The February Department of Labor jobs report indicated 311,000 additional positions added during the month including workers in the hospitality and restaurant sector.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 70,000 new jobs for bars and restaurants and 14,000 in accommodation.


For January, 99,000 additional positions in food and drink establishments were added with 15,000 in accommodation. In contrast, technology and retail sectors recorded fewer positions.


Leisure and accommodation are still approximately 400,000 positions down from the beginning of 2020, pre-COVID representing a loss of three percent of the previous workforce.


A National Restaurant Association survey revealed that 90 percent of restaurant operators are facing challenges in recruitment and retention with two-thirds of the respondents operating at 10 percent below acceptable levels of employment.  It is projected that 15.5 million will be employed in the restaurant industry by the end of 2023 compared to 12.2 million in December 2020, reflecting layoffs and restaurant closures during the COVID pandemic. Many employees in leisure and entertainment found new positions outside the industry during and after COVID restrictions, necessitating recruitment and hiring of new entrants to the sector.