May 26, 2020

US Hotel Workforce Slowly Rebuilding

Data shows that as hotel demand returns in the U.S., hotel staffing is slowly increasing, starting with housekeeping.

Prior to March 2020, the average U.S. hotel had 27.4 employees, according to labor management data collected by Hotel Effectiveness.

This average dropped to less than 7.7 employees by mid-April, as hotels that that remained open reduced staff in line with a drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions.

In recent weeks, that number has begun to increase.

Hotel Employment Index

As occupancy has improved, hotels have begun adding team members, starting with housekeeping, and now average 9.3 employees per hotel. That average represents 34% of normal (pre-COVID) staffing levels.

In addition, hiring activity has been greater than termination activity for three to four days out of every seven days for the past three weeks—a further indication of the gradual recovery in process.

Hotel Employee Count by Position

Staffing levels for food-and-beverage functions largely remain at zero. These high-contact roles are expected to recover more slowly than other positions in each hotel, corresponding with the expected overall recovery rate of meetings and restaurants. Full-service and conference hotels, with a higher concentration of these positions, are seeing a slower rate of staffing recovery than select-service properties.

The data and charts above represent a sample of more than 3,300 same-store hotels and excludes hotels which have been closed during the analyzed period.

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