Hospitality Job Openings in the 5 Hottest Hiring Markets

Leadership Professional Growth

In specific markets, hospitality job openings are at a record high. Here are five of the hottest markets for jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector.

Taking advantage of hospitality job openings is one way to leverage your experience in the hospitality sector and continue your professional growth. A promotion or lateral position at your current company or a new position at a new organization typically has different requirements that help you polish your existing skill set and build new ones. These opportunities often vary depending on the region or city where you are located. Growth in tourism, business services, technology and other sectors, in addition to changing consumer habits, provide the fuel that drives expansion in the hospitality sector.

According to the National Restaurant Association, hospitality job openings have increased to record highs over the last quarter, with an average of 685,000 new job openings nationwide. Furthermore, the leisure and hospitality sector has added over 2 million jobs since 2010, when the economic recovery began. The increase in sector jobs in various regions have typically, but not always, matched a general economic increase. Four of the five markets below that have experienced or are currently experiencing significant employment increases have economies that are growing overall.

Orlando, Florida

In Orlando, hospitality is the largest sector that drives the region’s economy. According to Forbes, the sector is up by 22 percent over the previous year. The large increase in hospitality job openings in this metropolitan area is fueled by major attractions that include the Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks. Another major contributor to this growth is Orlando’s population explosion, which has more than doubled since 1990, largely driven by migrations from other parts of the U.S.

New York, New York

With a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau-estimated population of 8.5 million, New York is the largest city in the country. The metropolitan area is even larger at approximately 19 million. New York, with its relatively low per capita crime rate, financial institutions, major shopping districts and numerous entertainment venues, remains a highly popular place to live and a major draw for tourists from all over the U.S. and abroad. Since 2010, the hospitality sector’s employment has increased by nearly 30 percent. New York’s overall economic growth also contributes to the growth in its hospitality sector.

Los Angeles, California

The greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, which extends north to Glendale and south to Long Beach, has seen employment in the leisure and hospitality sector increase more than 28 percent since 2010. Although other industries have not done as well, tourism continues to grow and the California sunshine remains a big draw. In addition, Los Angeles residents frequent various entertainment venues and enjoy eating out, which has helped drive these numbers.

Nashville, Tennessee

With the increase in the popularity of country music and its exposure to the general population, Nashville is increasingly becoming a vacation destination for many Americans. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Nashville — Franklin — Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee region experienced a growth of 5.3 percent in jobs in the hospitality sector between June 2013 and June 2014. Nashville has also experienced overall economic growth in many other sectors.

Bay Area, California

Spurred by the boom in the technology sector, increasing tourism in the area and a shift from retail (i.e., grocery stores) to restaurants, the Bay Area’s job growth in its hospitality sector has grown an average of 4 percent over the last few years, according to the University of the Pacific. This growth is expected to continue. The Bay Area includes the entire metro region extending from San Francisco, south to San Jose and east, across the bay to Oakland.

Where you live greatly impacts your view of the health of the American economy. Much of the economic growth has occurred in the so-called Sun Belt, that swath of states known for its sunshine and generally good weather, which continues to be a draw for individuals and businesses alike. If you currently reside in one of these cities or are looking for a change, these cities may provide you with the leadership opportunities you seek in the hospitality industry.

Tiffany C. Wright
Tiffany C. Wright

Tiffany C. Wright is the author of The Funding Is Out There!, Access the Cash You Need to Impact Your Business and Solving the Capital Equation: Financing Solutions for Small Businesses. She is the founder of The Resourceful CEO, which helps owners of small/medium-sized businesses prepare their businesses for sale. Tiffany has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, sits on non-profit boards and serves as a business mentor with the Cherie Blair Foundation.