Leisure and hospitality industry employment in metro Houston stood at 352,900 jobs in February 2024, a 2% increase over February 2023 and an 8% increase from pre-pandemic sector totals.

The industry accounts for 10.4% of the region’s 3.4 million nonfarm jobs. Total nonfarm employment is up 2% over the same period a year ago.

Leisure and hospitality—which includes accommodation and food services as well as arts, entertainment, and recreation—has increased its job count by about 8% or nearly 27,000 jobs since 2019, the year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roughly 6.7% of the total jobs in the sector are currently open, slightly below the 7.5% of all nonfarm job openings in the region. That’s down from a peak of nearly 10% in December 2022 but still above pre-pandemic openings, suggesting a continued industry labor shortage.

Among leisure and hospitality subsectors:

  • Accommodation and food services employment has increased 8% since 2019
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation employment has grown by 12%

Written by A.J. Mistretta