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Just How Big is Asheville Metro Leisure & Hospitality Industry?

Johnson Price Sprinkle PA (JPS) a leading accounting firm in western North Carolina, providing innovative solutions in taxation, assurance and business advisory services, created specifically for small to mid-sized, closely-held and family-owned businesses, is pleased to provide the following data on Asheville Metro’s Leisure & Hospitality industry (July 2016).

The Asheville metropolitan area economy (Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood and Madison counties) has long been supported by visitor spending. Businesses that primarily serve visitors are together labeled the Leisure & Hospitality industry.

In 2015 the Leisure & Hospitality industry employed 27,889 workers in Asheville’s metro. The industry is comprised of five sectors (see chart below). Restaurants & Bars accounted for 70 percent of the metro’s Leisure & Hospitality employment.

Leisure & Hospitality Sector Employment
Asheville Metro

JPS Hospitality & Leisure Industries Asheville Metro

Source: N.C. Department of Commerce, 2015 3Q

Is Leisure & Hospitality Asheville metro’s largest industry? The Leisure & Hospitality industry employs 15.5 percent of the metro’s total workforce, second to the area’s largest industry Health Services; which employs 34,600 workers or 19.3 percent of the total (see chart below).

Major Industry Employment
Asheville Metro

JPS Asheville Metro Major Industry Employment

Source: N.C. Department of Commerce, 2015 3Q

How does the size of Asheville metro’s Leisure & Hospitality industry compare to other economies in the state? Among all fifteen metropolitan’s in the state, Asheville has the third highest share of employment devoted to Leisure & Hospitality (see chart below). The Jacksonville metro ranks first with 17.4 percent of its total employment in Leisure & Hospitality. The industry accounts for 11.6 percent of statewide employment and 10.9 percent nationwide.

Leisure & Hospitality Employment as a Percent of Total Employment
North Carolina Metros

JPS Leisure & Hospitality Employment as % of Total Employment NC Metros

 Source: N.C. Department of Commerce, 2015 3Q

Finally, how does recent growth of Asheville metropolitan area’s Leisure & Hospitality industry compare to other industries in the metro? Over the last five years Leisure & Hospitality employment increased by 4,383, up 19 percent. This is the largest increase of all major industries in the area (see chart below). About 30 percent of all net new jobs in the Asheville metro have come from Leisure & Hospitably in the last five years.

Major Industry Employment Five-Year Change
Asheville Metro

JPS Asheville Metro Industry Employment 5-Year Change

Source: N.C. Department of Commerce, 2010-2015 3Q

Contact JPS to confidently guide you in your business growth assessment and needs, whether tax, assurance or business advisory.

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About JPS:

At JPS, everything we do is about improving the lives of clients, people, community and profession by providing innovative resources and financial solutions.  Our team is dedicated to learning the intricacies of your business, whether you’re a small operation, a nonprofit organization or a large corporation, and, whether your business is in its infancy or already well established. We also invest time and energy in our community, taking pride in doing what we can to make Western North Carolina a better place to live and work. Our Mission is to Be Greater by improving the financial lives of our clients while strengthening our community.

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