The leisure and hospitality sector led hiring in December as restaurant and bar managers added wait staff, cooks and bartenders to payrolls ahead of the holidays.
That sector saw net job growth of 53,000 workers, with eateries accounting for 42,600 of that gain and hotels, motels and other accommodation businesses adding 10,000. Amusement parks, casinos and other recreational firms shed 6,600 workers in December.
For the year, leisure and hospitality added 2.6 million jobs, but employment itself was off 1.2 million jobs, or 7.2%, since February 2020. Employment in food services is still down by 653,000 since February 2020.
The broad professional and business services sector also proved…