Hotel industry accounts for more than 1 in 25 U.S. jobs

The hotel industry supported more than one in 25 U.S. jobs in 2018, according to a study conducted by Oxford Economics and sponsored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation.

The total number of U.S. jobs supported by the industry rose 1.1 million from 2015 to 8.3 million in 2018. The industry directly employed 2.3 million people in the U.S. in 2018, a gain of 160,000 from 2015.

The study found that a representative hotel with 100 occupied rooms supports 241 total jobs: 137 directly and 104 indirectly. This includes 66 jobs at the hotel representing $2.8 million of wages, salaries and other labor income. This example property supports $5.4 million of total tax revenue, including $1.9 million of direct taxes generated at the hotel.

“Hotels are an industry of opportunity, and we are proud to make dreams come true every day for the millions of guests we serve and the 8.3 million people whose jobs we support,” Chip Rogers, president/CEO of AH&LA, said in a statement. “We are at a critical moment for our industry. Demand for hotels has never been higher, but we are also facing the tightest labor market in a generation. Together with our foundation, [the AH&LA] is working to advance polices that will allow hoteliers to meet our workforce needs, deliver the quality service and amenities our guests expect and deserve and invest in our employees and communities.”

According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 835,000 job openings in accommodation and food services in June this year. To address this, the AH&LEF has been creating and building programs to rapidly train new employees while also providing current employees a path toward upward mobility.

“Whether it’s providing a young adult with the technical expertise and soft skills to jumpstart a hospitality career, helping a current employee complete a college degree at no cost to them or giving a scholarship for an aspiring hotel management major, our foundation is laser focused on fueling opportunity and grooming the next generation of hoteliers,” Rosanna Maietta, president of the AH&LEF, said in a statement.

Financial Impact of the Hotel Industry

The U.S. hotel industry encompasses almost 55,900 properties with 5.3 million guestrooms and sells almost 1.3 billion roomnights annually. In 2018, it supported $1.2 trillion of business sales (revenue plus certain taxes); $395 billion of wages, salaries and other compensation; $659 billion of gross domestic product; and $186 billion of federal, state and local taxes.

Four other takeaways from the report:

  1. The two primary categories of hotel industry impact were hotel operations and hotel guest spending. The direct impact of operations included hotel sales ($270.6 billion) as well as the corresponding hotel jobs ($2.3 million). Ancillary guest spending, including money spent locally and on transportation, totaled $278.1 billion. Ancillary spending and direct operations output totaled $548.8 billion. The report estimated the indirect and induced impacts of guest spending and operations totaled $564.9 billion.
  2. For each $100 spent on lodging, guests spent another $222 during their trip. The report found a fairly even split between guest spending on-site (270.6 billion) and offsite ($278.1 billion).
  3. Direct capital investment through new construction and renovation totaled $42.4 billion. The indirect and induced impact of this activity supported an additional $69.6 billion of business sales and nearly 375,000 jobs.
  4. Hotel industry sales have risen $43.5 percent since 2010, leading to nearly 300,000 additional jobs at hotels. Of this number, more than 160,000 have been added since 2015. According to STR, the number of hotels rose from 52,375 in 2010 to 55,899 in 2018. From 2005 to 2018, hotel industry sales rose 52 percent, wages increased 56.7 percent and employment rose 14 percent.