IAAPA releases study on COVID-19’s impact on employment in U.S. attractions industry

by Kayla Springmyer

IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, recently released a study outlining COVID-19’s impact on employment in the U.S. attractions industry.


The study looked at amusement parks, arcades, historical sites, zoos and similar attractions throughout the U.S. Between March and May 2020 – over 125,000 employees lost their jobs in these sectors. In June 2020 alone, 165,000 theme park jobs were lost. In fact, the total loss of jobs is five times higher than the average loss in other industries. The remaining industry employees saw their wages fall by a combined $1.1 billion.

“Just as amusement parks and arcades, historical sites, zoos and other attractions were ramping up seasonal hiring last year, the economy shut down,” said John Hallenbeck, vice president of IAAPA North America. “That meant a sudden and immediate drop in employment. It’s imperative to the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Americans that state and local governments continue to push for the safe reopening of attractions facilities as soon as possible.”

IAAPA’s study used data sourced directly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Census of Employment and Wages (CEW) programs.

The study also looks at the differences between industry employment loss in different states. For example, Florida worked to reopen businesses at a swifter pace than states such as California, New York and Massachusetts. This led to a lesser percentage of overall industry job loss in Florida – 30% compared to about 60% in California.

“COVID-19 has devastated our industry. IAAPA estimates the effects of the pandemic will have cost $23 billion in economic losses in 2020 alone,” added Hallenbeck. “On behalf of our industry and the thousands of people who rely upon it, I strongly urge Congress to pass additional relief legislation that includes attractions industry-specific support.”

Read the study in its entirety here.


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1 comment

Ronnie watkins February 24, 2021 - 7:55 pm

That”s to bad it did not need to happen let”s get everything opened back up.
We could still be safe.


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