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Hospitality jobs big in northern counties

Tuesday, May 31, 2016  
Posted by: Emily Owens
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Hospitality jobs big in northern counties
By Michael Kitch - Laconia Daily Sun

A study prepared by the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security concludes that the hospitality sector plays a disproportionate role in the economies of Belknap, Carroll and Coos counties.

For the purposes of the study the hospitality sector is distinguished from the tourist industry. Tourism generally refers to goods and services provided to non-resident visitors. But, common measures of tourism includes goods and services provided to both residents and visitors. To segregate the economic impact of the hospitality sector it is defined as businesses engaged in arts, entertainment and recreation, on the one hand, and accommodation and food services, on the other. This classification excludes retail sales, seasonal housing and transportation services, which are less identifiable as tourist activities.

In 2014, employment in hospitality averaged 66,300, representing 9.2 percent of total employment in the state. Throughout the state employment in the hospitality sector is distinctly seasonal — strongest in the third quarter — July, August and September — and weakest in the fourth quarter — October, November and December. And in 11 of the 14 industry groups in the hospital sector the average weekly wage was $500 or less, little more than half the average weekly wage for employees in all industries.

The hospitality sector represented the largest share of private employment in Carroll County at 30 percent, followed by Coos County at 24.9 percent and Belknap County at 18.5 percent. Accommodation and food services accounted for the lion's share of employment in the sector — 25.3 percent of employment in Carroll County, 20.2 in Coos County and 15.5 percent in Belknap County.

The greatest number of employees in the hospitality sector were in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties, the two most populous in the state, where they accounted for a smaller portion of total employment.

The study indicated that in Belknap, Carroll and Coos counties taken together almost one of every five jobs was supported directly or indirectly by the hospitality sector. Without these jobs, the study projected that by 2024 employment in the three counties would shrink by 19,500 and gross domestic product would fall $1 billion or 14 percent. In other words, the economic impact of the hospitality sector is twice as great in these three counties as in the state as a whole.

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