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A sign recruiting workers at a Perkins Restaurant last month. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Workers taking up gigs at bars, restaurants and hotels are a mainstay of the pandemic job market’s healing.

Why it matters: Since the industry shed the most workers when COVID-19 hit, it has the most room to recover.

  • It’s also been a proxy for the state of America’s reopening — and the hurdles that come along with it, like worker shortages.

By the numbers: For yet another month, the sector delivered the bulk (+380,000) of job gains, with two-thirds of that hiring happening at restaurants and bars.

The big picture: Leisure and hospitality has added a whopping 2.1 million payrolls since the beginning of the year — a big chunk of the total 4 million the economy has gained since then.

  • The sector has 1.7 million fewer jobs than when the pandemic hit.
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

A big part of the comeback story: bosses raising pay like mad to lure the staff they need to meet reopening demand.

  • Wages rose another 1.4% on a monthly basis for non-managers in the sector. (Compare that to the overall 0.4% gain for employees.)

What to watch: How much the sector remains at the pandemic’s mercy — with the presence of vaccines — as infections surge.

  • “The risk is new mask mandates and other COVID restrictions weaken the pace of recovery as returning to the office stalls and caution starts to creep back in,” ING economist James Knightley says.

Go deeper

Kentucky is America's job quitting capital

Expand chart
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Kentucky has the highest rate of job quitters in the nation, according to the inaugural release of state-level job openings and labor turnover data.

Why it matters: It offers a look at the places driving a pandemic-era trend that's seeing people leave their jobs in droves.

Updated 9 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.