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.
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Leaders at AAHOA and the American Hotel & Lodging Association say time is running out for the nation’s 57,000 hotels in need of federal government financial relief as the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. heads into its eighth month. Cecil Staton, president and CEO of AAHOA, and Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, are tirelessly rallying the industry to implore Congress to act soon before half of the country’s hotels go into foreclosure. This report is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry.
With hotel occupancies hovering around an average of 50 percent, owners and operators are seeking new ways to generate revenue beyond traditional overnight stays. One solution in the works is day use of hotel rooms. Hotel companies such as Red Roof, Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Hilton are promoting the practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of the curve is HotelsbyDay.com, a day-use booking platform that is marketing hotels as the new office space. Long Live Lodging explores the unconventional use of hotels and how owners and operators can position their properties to attract day users. This is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry.