About 44% of hotel employees nationwide will be out of work within weeks because of the free-fall in occupancies, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
The projection came a day after Marriott International reportedly decided to furlough two-thirds of the 4,000 employees who work at the chain’s Bethesda, Md., headquarters—about 2,640 people—for 90 days, beginning next month. The lodging giant said last week that it would furlough tens of thousands of employees at its properties, including food and beverage staffs, and cut the hours of other staff members.
“The impact to our industry is already more severe than anything we’ve seen before, including September 11th and the Great Recession of 2008 combined,” AHLA CEO Chip Rogers said in a statement.
The furloughed Marriott employees will not be paid but will still have access to health benefits, the company said at the time the property-level layoffs were announced.
This morning, James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, warned that the national unemployment rate could soar to 30%, or a level comparable with joblessness during the Great Depression.
A state-by-state breakdown of the AHLA’s job-loss projection indicates the most severe layoffs will come in California, with 285,122 lodging workers expected to be laid off, followed by Illinois (59,372 lost jobs) and Arizona (58,220).
The AHLA has sent a letter to President Trump and Congress, beseeching the political leaders to provide direct relief to the industry.