Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Workers in Leisure and Hospitality Businesses: Massachusetts and New England

Fast Facts

Immigrants participate in the U.S. leisure and hospitality industry at a higher rate than the U.S.-born as both workers and business owners.

U.S. Leisure & Hospitality Industry graphic


  • Leisure and hospitality was the fourth largest Massachusetts employer in 2006 with nine percent of the state’s total employment and $6.4 billion in gross payroll.
  • Foreign-born entrepreneurs make up more than one-third of all traveler accommodation and restaurant business owners.
  • New England’s leisure and hospitality businesses are very dependent on immigrant labor, which outstrips the industry’s national average of foreign-born workers:
    • Twenty-six percent of Massachusetts workers are foreign-born.
    • Twenty-one percent of Connecticut workers are foreign-born.


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