CT’s Workforce in Leisure & Hospitality Industries Among Smallest in U.S.

The percentage of Connecticut’s workforce in the leisure and hospitality industries is among the smallest in the country.  New data indicates that the state ranks 45th, with 9.6 percent of all workers employed in  the field.  The national average is 11.4 percent of workers.

The top-ranked state in leisure and hospitality workers is Nevada, with 28 percent, followed by Hawaii with 18 percent and Montana at 14 percent.  Just behind the top three states are Wyoming, Florida, Maine, Colorado, South Carolina, South Dakota, Rhode Island New Hampshire and Vermont, among the 17 states exceeding the national average.  Massachusetts ranks at #23, just under the national average.

Workforce in leisure and hospitality is defined as the percent of employees (on nonfarm payrolls) who are employed in leisure and hospitality, including arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food service.  Earlier this year, published reports indicated that employment in this sector – then at 10.5 percent of the U.S. workforce – was at a record high since the government began tracking such data in 1939.

Connecticut in45 recent years has dramatically stepped up efforts to promote the state to visitors, launching the “Still Revolutionary” marketing campaign slogan and increasing the state’s tourism budget which had been all but eliminated by the previous state administration.  Increased tourism is said to impact the leisure and hospitality industries.

The only states with a smaller percentage than Connecticut in the leisure and hospitality industry are Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, and North Dakota.

The data on workforce in leisure and hospitality were collected as part of the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, a monthly survey of about 141,000 businesses and government agencies, in order to provide detailed industry data on employment, hours and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls. The workforce data are updated monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The data used is updated through September 2013 and published by Bloomberg Visual Data.

Nationwide employment in the leisure and hospitality sector rose to 13.66 million jobs in August, based on seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Business Journals reported.

The BLS reports that the arts and entertainment sector generally includes (1) establishments that are involved in producing, promoting, or participating in live performances, events, or exhibits intended for public viewing; (2) establishments that preserve and exhibit objects and sites of historical, cultural, or educational interest; and (3) establishments that operate facilities or provide services that enable patrons to participate in recreational activities or pursue amusement, hobby, and leisure-time interests.

The Accommodation and Food Services sector, according to BLS, comprises establishments providing customers with lodging and/or preparing meals, snacks, and beverages for immediate consumption. The sector includes both accommodation and food services establishments because the two activities are often combined at the same establishment.

Note:  Concerns have been raised regarding the manner in which casino employees are categorized, which may impact the data.