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When the states placed orders to stay at home in March, jobs involving personal interaction with the public were among the first: think bars, hotels and theme parks.
The number of recreational and hospitality jobs in the U.S. fell 41% year-over-year in May, from 16.5 million in May 2019 to 9.8 million now. It is undoubtedly America's most affected industry during the pandemic. But this economic blow is far from over, even if you are dealing with state-level data.
With 31,397 deaths, the State of New York saw both the most deaths from COVID-19 and the largest drop in leisure and hospitality jobs. Between May 2019 and May 2020, the number of recreational and hospitality jobs in New York dropped from 961,000 to 364,100, according to the United States Department of Labor Statistics. This 596,900 decrease, or –62.1% decrease, is greater than the 578,759 residents of Wyoming.
The number of leisure and hospitality jobs lost in New York is so great that if everyone went back, unemployment in the United States would drop from the current 13.3% to 12.9%.
The second largest drop was in Massachusetts, where leisure and hospitality jobs fell by –59.9%. It was followed by the District of Columbia (–59.6%), Hawaii (–58.2%) and New Jersey (–55.4%).
The smallest drop in recreational and hospitality jobs was in Oklahoma, where they declined 17.9% in May compared to the previous year. Mississippi (–23.3%), Arkansas (–25.5%), Idaho (–26.1%) and Arizona (–26.5%) follow.
However, it is not all terrible news. When the states began to reopen their economies, US recreational and hospitality jobs increased 14.4% from April to May.
However, this trend could also be reversed. Some states, such as Texas and Florida, are withdrawing plans to reopen as cases increase in the southern and western states.
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