The hiring blitz at bars, restaurants and hotels came to an abrupt halt in August as more Covid-19 cases and a scarcity of willing workers kept employers from adding to payrolls.
The broad leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurants and lodging, added a net of zero jobs last month. That's a remarkable stop to a sector that had jumped by an average 350,000 per month over the prior six months.
A closer look within the sector shows a loss of 42,000 jobs in food services and drinking places offset by a gain of 36,000 jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation.
The headline numbers from the August jobs report showed the U.S. economy added just 235,000 jobs last month, well short of the 720,000 expected. The unemployment rate fell from 5.4% to 5.2%. CNBC studied the net changes by industry for August jobs based on data contained in the government's employment report.