AH&LA projects COVID-19’s state-by-state jobs impact

The American Hotel & Lodging Association estimated 44 percent of hotel employees in every state have lost or will lose their jobs in coming weeks to COVID-19's impact on hotel occupancy. Photo credit: Kira-Yan / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The American Hotel & Lodging Association released a state-by-state breakdown of COVID-19’s impact on direct hotel and hotel-supported jobs. According to the data, 1,005,955 hotel employees—44 percent of hotel employees in every state—are projected to have lost or will lose their jobs in coming weeks due to drastic declines in occupancy.

The data also showed 3,390,014 hotel-supported jobs could be lost due to COVID-19. According to the AH&LA, the hotel industry supports 8.3 million jobs total (direct hotel operations, guest spending, indirect supply-chain and induced).

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The AH&LA based its estimate on Oxford Economics research from mid-March. The report estimated California, Florida, Nevada and Texas would take the hardest hits in direct hotel operations jobs. California, Florida, Texas and New York stood to lose the most hotel-supported jobs.

According to the AH&LA’s website, U.S. hotels have already lost $2.4 billion in room revenue since mid-February and are on pace to lose more than $200 million in room revenue per day based on current and future reported occupancy rates. This pace equates to a loss of $1.4 billion every week.

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The association said most hoteliers are reporting significant layoffs and furloughs and projected revenue losses of greater than 50 percent for the first half of the year. Individual hotels and major operators are projecting occupancies below 20 percent for upcoming months, according to the AH&LA. At an occupancy rate of 35 percent of lower, it noted, hotels may close their doors, putting 33,000 small businesses at immediate risk.

Economic Impact of Drop in Occupancy

According to data from Oxford Economics, every day the hotel industry supports $3.4 billion of total business sales, $1.83 billion in gross domestic product, $500 million of tax revenue and $1.53 billion of guest spending. 

Should occupancy drop 30 percentage points from 66 percent to 36 percent, the Oxford Economics data showed the industry would lose $558 billion of total business sales, $300 billion of gross domestic product and $249 billion of guest spending. If it fell by 40 percentage points to 26 percent, the industry would reportedly lose $740 billion of total business sales, $400 billion of gross domestic product and $332 billion of guest spending.

“The impact to our industry is already more severe than anything we’ve seen before, including September 11th and the great recession of 2008 combined,” AH&LA President/CEO Chip Rogers said in a statement. “The White House and Congress can take urgent action to protect countless jobs, provide relief to our dedicated and hardworking employees, and ensure that our small business operators and franchise owners—who represent more than half of hotels in the country—can keep their doors open.”

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