Introducing the DailyPay Reopen America Index
written by Colin Kelley
August 24, 2021: Hospitality and Hotel Update
Hospitality and Hotels have been the bellwether of America’s Reopening. Throughout the year, the industry’s hiring numbers at the state and national levels have consistently reflected the country’s status in terms of vaccination rates, state restrictions, and the return of major tourist events/attractions. Today’s hiring numbers reflect the new uncertainty associated with rising COVID transmission due to the Delta Variant.
Between April and July, the industry experienced seventeen uninterrupted weeks of nationwide hiring increases. By the end of July we noticed that, while hiring continued to trend upward, the month-over-month increases were beginning to shrink, going from 20% growth in April to 11% in May, 9% in June, and 5% in July. For the first time since February, the industry will finish the month with a lower index number than it had at the start of the month.
At the beginning of August, we hypothesized that the rate of hiring growth was beginning to slow down as the summer travel season was coming to an end. The rapid decline over the past two weeks was likely due to the emergence of the COVID delta variant and increasing hospitalizations throughout the country. While the highest COVID rates may be in select regions of the country, it has likely impacted Americans’ plans to travel at the rate they did in June and July.
Last month we predicted that the industry would continue to see hiring growth throughout the fall and winter as business and holiday travel returned to pre-COVID levels. This now hinges on the country’s ability to increase vaccinations and to control the Delta variant, and success or failure will most certainly be reflected in Hospitality and Hotel Hiring numbers.
August 9, 2021: July Jobs Report and Industries struggling to fill roles
The Department of Labor’s July job report showed that over 940k jobs were added to the workforce, decreasing the unemployment rate by half a percentage point to 5.4 percent. While recent hiring numbers are a positive indicator of how far the economy has come since the pandemic began, there are indications that the economy still has a long way to go. According to CNBC, there are over one million more open jobs than Americans seeking new roles.
Both the positive jobs report and the troubling amount of open roles can be seen in the recent Reopen America Index numbers, as we are seeing troubling trends at the state level for industries that continue to show strong nationwide hiring numbers.
The Hospitality and Hotel industry, up 5% since the first week of July, is beginning to show signs of a slow down as the rate of monthly hiring continues to shrink. Virginia has seen the sharpest industry hiring decline, down 5% since the first week of July. Popular destinations such as Florida, Indiana, and Utah have remained flat for the last month.
Caregiver hiring numbers trended upward between June and July, with nationwide hiring increased by 4%, but those gains were wiped out in the last three weeks as hiring declined by 5%.
Consumer Services continues to experience a positive hiring trend nationwide, up 8% since July, but several states have seen a significant decline. Hiring in Texas has decreased by 21%, while both Virginia and the District of Columbia have seen a 14% decline.
Quick Service Restaurant hiring, an industry that managed to turn around its downward trend in May is beginning to flatline and even decline in several states. Nationwide QSR hiring is up 3%, boosted by a small handful of states that saw double-digit growth throughout the last month (NM, NC, IA, MS, NE, KS, SC). Nearly a majority of states (23) saw an increase of 2% or less.
August 2, 2021: July Recap
Quick Service Restaurants
Industry hiring increased by 3% in July. The majority of U.S. states saw positive hiring growth with 14% of states experiencing double-digit growth, including:
- New Mexico +30%
- Iowa +21%
- Mississippi +19%
- Nevada +19%
- Nebraska +14%
- Colorado +13%
- Kansas +10%
Hospitality and Hotels
Hospitality and Hotel hiring increased by 5% nationally in July. While the industry continues to see healthy increases there are signs the upward trend may be leveling off. Hiring increased by 20% in April, 11% in May, 9% in June, and 5% in July. The rate of growth has likely slowed down over time as the momentum from the country’s late spring/early summer reopening has died down. While industry hiring to meet the demand of summer travel may be slowing, hotel companies like Hilton are confident that the industry will continue to grow through the end of the year as business and holiday travel ramp up.
After a lackluster June (+1%), Consumer Services experienced a 7% hiring increase in July. Nationwide hiring was bolstered by states in the south and midwest, including South Carolina (+23%), Georgia (+9%),Michigan (+10%) and Illinois (+9%).
Texas and Virginia, two of the few states that experienced significant hiring increases during June saw notable decreases during July, down 21% and 10% respectively.
If you work in an industry featured in this Index or you want to know more about how you can stay ahead of the curve as America reopens, here are a few resources that might interest you:
The gradual return of seasonal travel has resulted in rising Hospitality/Hotel numbers in pockets of the US, particularly in the Midwest, South Central, and the Southern Atlantic Coast.
- Indiana, which hosted the return of the NCAA March Madness Tournament, saw a 28% increase in Hospitality and Hotel hiring between the first week of January and the last week of March.
- Kentucky’s numbers are up 60%, since Jan 1, indicating that the state’s travel and tourism weathered devastation 2020 and is slowly regaining the record-setting momentum it experienced in 2019.1
- Missouri’s Hospitality numbers are up 10% since Jan 1, in anticipation of a Memorial Day start to the summer tourism season, which attracts millions to areas such as Branson and the Lake of the Ozarks.
- States along the Southern Atlantic coast, including Florida, North and South Carolina are seeing modest gains this spring. This trend will likely continue to grow and move its way up the Atlantic Coast as the weather warms. We should begin to see rising Hospitality/Hotel numbers in DC, New York, and Massachusetts in the coming months.