According to statements from new members to an American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) questionnaire, nearly all hotels are experiencing difficulty filling available positions with experienced workers. As per the survey, 87% of respondents are now coping with staff shortages, with 36% reporting that the shortage is severe. The most important role that has to be filled, according to 43% of those who responded to the study, is that of a housekeeper.
In May, 97% of AHLA member poll respondents said they were short-staffed, with 49% stating they were severely short-staffed and 58% citing housekeeping as their most onerous concern. These figures are slightly better than they were in May. Despite offering potential employees a myriad of incentives such as increased pay (81% have done so), more flexibility with hours (64% have done so), and improved perks (35%), 91% of hotels indicate that they are still unable to fill open vacancies. The number of empty positions sought by respondents has declined from 12 in May to an average of 10.3 per property.
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, the number of hotel jobs was around 400,000 fewer in August compared to February 2020. More than 115,000 hotel jobs are currently unoccupied across the country, and businesses are actively looking for replacements for many of the roles lost as a consequence of the pandemic.
These staffing challenges are creating unparalleled opportunities for employees to further their careers inside the hotel. The national average wage for hotel workers in 2022 through June is more than $22 per hour, which is greater than any other year on record. Since the outbreak, the average salary in the hotel industry has risen at a faster rate than the average wage in the rest of the economy. Hotel privileges and flexibility are also higher than they have ever been.
The AHLA Foundation’s multi-channel advertising campaign, “A Place to Stay,” is presently operating in 14 cities. Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa are among them. The campaign’s objectives are to help hotels fill unfilled positions and raise awareness of the hotel industry’s more than 200 career paths.
“Today’s tight labor market is creating unprecedented career opportunities for current and prospective hotel employees, and AHLA and the AHLA Foundation are working tirelessly to spread the word. With hotel wages, benefits, flexibility, and upward mobility at historic levels, there has never been a better time to work at a hotel than the present,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers.