Hospitality Becomes the Economy’s Fastest-Growing Employer

Competition for labor heats up as consumer habits return to prepandemic patterns.

April 26, 2023

New York—Hiring managers for hotels, bars and restaurants—hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic—are now among the country’s fastest-growing employers. This is offsetting a slowdown in tech-related hiring, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Leisure and hospitality channels are restoring their workforce after cutting back during the start of restrictions during the pandemic. In contrast, companies focused on providing business and tech-related services have slowed their growth in recent months.

About half of job-cut announcements among U.S.-based employers have come from tech companies since November, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The reductions somewhat reverse part of the hires made during the height of the pandemic, when lockdowns led to increased demand for tech products and services.

Reasons such as a return to prepandemic consumer habits, rising interest rates and fears of an economic decline have prompted some companies to rethink their head counts. Inc. nearly doubled its staff due to increased demand for its e-commerce, grocery and cloud-computing businesses. Amazon grew to more than 1.5 million employees at the end of last year from about 800,000 at the end of 2019, FactSet data show. Amazon recently announced layoffs totaling more than 18,000 staffers.

Meanwhile, in January, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said that it plans to hire 15,000 workers in the U.S. ahead of an expected increase in demand. Some businesses—such as Kroger Co., the largest U.S. supermarket operator by sales—are recruiting former employees to fill staffing gaps.

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