As per new federal statistics, about 7% of the restaurant and hotel employees resigned in November 2021, resulting in 1 million at least temporary employment openings that month alone.
According to the US Bureau of Job Statistics (BLS), no other sector of the US labor market comes close to such levels. In all, 4.3 million private-sector workers resigned in November, with the hotel industry accounting for almost one out of every five workers who resigned in what has been termed “The Great Resignation.”
Per the BLS, quit statistics represent employees’ “willingness or capacity” to change occupations. It did not specify how many of the departing restaurant and hotel workers accepted other positions in the hospitality industry, switched to another industry, or fell out of the labor force entirely.
“It is no wonder that workers are exiting the leisure and hospitality industry en masse,” Saru Jayaraman, co-founder, and president of advocacy group One Fair Wage said in a statement. “The last two years of this horrendous pandemic have been more than a hard time for restaurant and hospitality workers – especially tipped workers who have been struggling with a subminimum wage as low as $2.13 an hour federally.”
While voluntary departures increased, restaurant and hotel hiring fell by nearly 17%, with total recruitment of 855,000 hospitality employees, according to the BLS. As per the data, the hotel industry hired 6.5 percent of its staff in November.
The data overview comes at a time when restaurants are shutting at an alarming rate in cities throughout the country. The most often mentioned cause has been labor concerns. Operators say it’s tough to find enough workers. Employees tested positive for COVID-19 in other cases, and activities were suspended for safety concerns.