Coronavirus causes heavy job losses nationwide in hotel industry

4 million jobs already lost or on verge of being eliminated

The hotel industry is facing an abrupt and unprecedented drop in hotel demand in Washington state and that nation that is gaining pace and getting progressively deeper and more severe week by week because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotel industry supports nearly 2.3 million jobs directly and over 8.3 million jobs total (direct hotel operations, guest spending, indirect supply-chain and induced), but drastic declines in occupancy rates will lead to massive job losses for individuals across the industry, according to a report released Friday by the American Hotel and Lodging Association/Oxford Economic Study.

Based on current occupancy estimates, the American Hotel & Lodging Association says four million total jobs have been eliminated already or are on the verge of being lost in the next few weeks. Hotel owners are already reporting facing massive, unavoidable layoffs and furloughs. An estimated 44% of hotel employees in every state are projected to have lost or will lose their jobs in the coming weeks.

In certain affected markets, including Seattle, San Francisco, Austin and Boston, hotel occupancy rates are already down below 20 percent and individual hotels and major operators have already shut down operations.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association and top hotel CEOs met with President Trump and Congress this week to seek urgent assistance to keep hotels from shuttering to protect millions of employees from losing jobs.

“The impact to our industry is already more severe than anything we’ve seen before, including Sept. 11 and the great recession of 2008 combined,” said Chris Rogers, American Hotel and Lodging Association president and CEO. “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.”.

In Washington state, there are 42,104 direct hotel jobs and 190,566 hotel supported jobs. But COVID-19 has caused a direct hotel job loss of 18,526 and a hotel supported job loss of 77,772.

State by state breakdown

Click here for a fact sheet with state by state data on estimated job losses for hotel industry. (Source: American Hotel and Lodging Association/Oxford Economic Study)

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