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 native 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
  • In spite of the 2009 economic downturn, worker shortages are a continuing concern.


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