San Diego and Riverside Buck Trend, Report Two-Year Growth in Hotel Jobs

Washington, DC, Jan 24 -- While much of the nationís hotel industry continues to struggle, two metropolitan areas in California, San Diego and Riverside, have bucked the national trend and reported net gains of hotel jobs over the last two years, according to a new hotel jobs update from the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute.

AFL-CIO Working for America Institute A recent review of hotel employment figures by the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute has found that hotel employment in San Diego and Riverside was higher in November 2002 than in either November 2000 or November 2001. The effects of the recession and the September 11 attacks on hotel jobs in these areas were smaller or shorter in duration than those that other major hotel areas suffered. (See chart below.)

Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, eight of 19 metropolitan areas with large numbers of hotel jobs are still losing those jobs: Orlando, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Francisco, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, Houston, and Miami.

Hotel employment in these areas was not only lower in November 2002 than in November 2000 (near the height of the nationís economic boom), but was also lower in November 2002 than in November 2001 (the second month after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001). Orlando lost the greatest percentage of jobs in both the last year and the last two years.

Jobs may be recovering in eight major hotel metropolitan areas: Honolulu, Washington, New York, Chicago, Tampa, Las Vegas, Dallas, and New Orleans. In November 2002, these areas had fewer hotel jobs than in November 2000, but more than in October 2001. This suggests that, although hotel jobs in these areas have not yet recovered from the combined effects of the recession and the September 11 attacks, they are beginning to increase. Reno, which lost jobs since November 2000 but neither gained nor lost jobs since November 2001, is on the borderline between this group of metropolitan areas and the group that is still losing hotel jobs.

Nationwide, hotels gained jobs in December, but it is too early to tell whether this is the beginning of a long-term trend or just a continuation of the 2002 pattern of occasional job gains in the midst of long-term stagnation. The total number of hotel jobs rose in December to 1,806,000, for a gain of 16,000 jobs since the previous month.

As of December, there were still fewer hotel jobs than at the beginning of the recession and fewer than before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Hotel employment in December was 105,000 jobs, or 5.5 percent, lower than at the beginning of the recession in March 2001. Of the jobs lost since the beginning of the recession, 46,000 were lost since September 2001, reflecting the combined ongoing effects of the September 11 attacks and the recession.

For more information, contact the Instituteís director of research Howard Wial at

*Data are for hotels and other lodging places, except Las Vegas and Reno (hotels, gambling, and recreation services) and Atlantic City (casino hotels).
**Washington, D.C., data are for District of Columbia only. Washington, D.C., metropolitan area data are not available
Note: Metropolitan areas shown are 19 of the 20 metropolitan areas with the largest hotel employment. Boston data are not available. Data are not seasonally adjusted. Data for most recent month are preliminary and may be revised in the future.
Source: WAI analysis of BLS Current Employment Statistics data.

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