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The most recent employment downturn was historic in many ways, but most notably, in the substantial number of jobs lost. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey show that total nonfarm employment fell by 8.7 million jobs between the employment peak in January 2008 and the employment trough in February 2010. In percentage terms, this was the largest job loss since the 1940s. Total nonfarm payroll employment did not make a full recovery until May 2014, a full 51 months after its employment low. During this recovery period, the leisure and hospitality industry gained more than 1.6 million jobs, accounting for almost 1 out of every 5 nonfarm jobs added during the recovery. (See chart 1.) Although other industries had similar or larger job gains, the leisure and hospitality industry is interesting because so many of the jobs were created in very few component industries. This Beyond the Numbers article examines recent trends in the leisure and hospitality industry and analyzes the concentrated distribution of job gains.


Suggested Citation
Coughlan, J. (2014). Restaurants help feed job growth: How the leisure and hospitality industry fared after the recent employment downturn. Beyond the Numbers, 3(16). Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics.