The U.S. Recreation Economy: Data, COVID-19, and Implications for Extension Stephan J. Goetz , Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, Penn State University, email@example.com Luyi Han , Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, Penn State University, firstname.lastname@example.org Daniel Eades , West Virginia University, email@example.com Jason Entsminger , Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, Penn State University, firstname.lastname@example.org Doug Arbogast , West Virginia University, email@example.com
The breadth, depth, and speed of the economic collapse associated with the COVID-19 pandemic was unprecedented in economic history. No sector was hit harder than Leisure and Hospitality, which accounts for the economic core of tourism and recreation-based activity. Only recently has employment in this sector begun to show signs of recovery toward pre-pandemic levels. Here we document the importance of the Leisure and Hospitality sector to the economy and identify impacts from the pandemic and recovery, at both state and local (county) levels. Selected implications for Extension Services programming by Land- and Sea-Grant institutions are highlighted.
We use secondary public data from federal sources including the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account and Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program, and descriptive analysis to document how COVID-19 affected U.S. states and counties in terms of the tourism and recreation employment and wages. Data are presented in geographic terms using maps with jurisdictional boundaries. These include calculations of the share of employment in the Leisure and Hospitality sector and changes between 2019 (pre-pandemic) and 2020 (pandemic height) in the 3 rd Quarter, when seasonal employment in tourism and recreation are typically at their largest. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic at the end of the 1 st Quarter of 2020, on March 11 th .
2021 NET Conference Proceedings
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