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U.S. Hotel Industry Continues to Rebound, But Workforce Challenges Remain

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) recently released its Midyear State of the Hotel Industry report, which includes updated forecasts on hotel performance, as well as the latest on trends in hotel investment and traveler sentiment.

Like many industries, hotels continue to face a major workforce shortage that could impact recovery. In 2019, U.S. hotels directly employed more than 2.3 million people, according to Oxford Economics. This report forecasts that hotels will end 2022 with 1.97 million employees, or 84% of pre-pandemic levels.

The hotel industry is not expected to reach 2019 employment levels until at least 2024. Additionally, 97% of hotels indicated they are experiencing a staffing shortage, 49% severely so. Survey respondents indicated they had hired an additional 23 employees per property in the last three months but were also trying to fill an additional 12 positions.