THE U.S. LEISURE and hospitality industry added 72,000 jobs in April over the same time previous year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment report. The industry’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, a little higher than the record-setting national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.
The report’s survey data showed little change over the month in the leisure and hospitality industry as unemployment rates recorded just 0.7 percent decrease, from last April’s 5.2 percent to this April’s 4.5 percent. The number of unemployed persons in the industry decreased to 647,000, from last year’s 719,000.
According to the USBLS data, the country’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent to the lowest rate in the last 50 years. Beating forecasts of 190,000, the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs last month. Over the month, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 387,000 to 5.8 million.
Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance. Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs fell down by 186,000 over the month to 2.7 million.
The low unemployment rate is putting upward pressure on wages and leading to a labor shortage for the hospitality industry and others. Read more on how hotels are facing the labor crisis in the cover story of May’s Asian Hospitality.