As the recognized COVID-19 infection rate began to gain strength in the U.S. in mid-March, lodging industry analysts said they expected at least half of the nation’s 4 million hotel employees would be laid off.
It’s a startling number when you consider that six weeks ago, most hospitality jobs were firmly intact.
In fact, in the beginning of 2020, the hospitality industry was grappling with a problem indicative of a healthy economy – a shallow labor pool. Competition from employers in and outside the industry forced hotel owners and operators to increase wages and figure out ways to retain staff, especially hourly workers.
What a difference a health pandemic can make.
April’s unemployment figures are expected to be unnerving. Twenty-two million people filed jobless claims from mid-March to mid-April.
Meantime, the Trump administration and some states are hatching plans to re-open communities and businesses beginning next month. In those cases, hoteliers will face some unique challenges in bringing back furloughed workers who are either comfortable on unemployment, uncomfortable with public-facing jobs or have found work elsewhere.
In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we talk to people involved in recruiting and training hospitality employees to find out what they’re seeing as the coronavirus pandemic has forced hotels to reduce their workforces.
Resources and Links
Since she was a teenager volunteering at senior-living facilities in Boston, Serena Lipton knew she wanted a career in senior housing. But she had a difficult time finding the college program she believed would educate and prepare her to serve in the senior-living industry. After graduating from Boston University School of Hospitality Administration and working as an analyst for JLL’s Senior Housing Valuation Advisory, Lipton finally found what she was looking for. This fall she enrolled in BU’s Master of Management in Hospitality with a new concentration in senior living. She and other students are on the cusp of what BUSHA believes is a massive shift in how Americans view aging and where opportunities lie for the hospitality industry.
Rainer Jenss of Nyack, New York, founded the Family Travel Association seven years ago to help parents and caregivers introduce children to the world through travel, whether that’s a yearlong trip around the world that Jenss and his family took or a weekend getaway to a nearby destination. To help the travel industry gauge what parents want when they take their kids on vacation, FTA conducts an annual study. The U.S. Family Travel Survey 2021 reveals the shift in mindset the COVID-19 pandemic has created in families planning a trip over the next 12 months. Hoteliers use can use the information to generate business and boost their strategies to recover and sustain business now and other the coming months.