Restaurants and hotels hired nearly twice as many workers during October as they did the prior month, even as the pool of job hunters sharply shrank, according to new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The data show that 164,000 employees were added to the payrolls of eating, drinking and lodging places during the month, compared with the 88,000 who were hired in September. About 119,000 of the new hires were brought aboard by restaurants and bars, a dramatic upswing from the net gain of just 29,000 jobs in September and a decline of 24,700 in August.

The October additions raised total employment within restaurants and bars to 11.4 million workers, an increase of 1.1 million or 10% from the same month of 2020, when restaurant customers were returning to restaurant dining rooms faster than the facilities could be staffed.

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