The leisure and hospitality industry recently has posted stronger job growth in the Washington region, a result that analysts say is likely linked to the surging business at local bars, restaurants and theaters.
According to Labor Department data, the sector added 11,700 jobs between February 2012 and February 2013. By comparison, the professional services sector, long the key pillar of job growth in the region, and the education and health services sector, the area’s biggest job creator in 2012, added 8,800 jobs each.
Economists say demographic shifts in the region have created a fertile environment for hospitality businesses, especially in the food services category. The District and its suburbs have recently seen an influx of Millennial Generation residents, many of whom were lured by the area’s relatively steady job market.
“Those folks tend to be social and eat out,” said Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.