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U.S. Hotels Still Facing Labor Shortage - AHLA Report

Hotels still facing labor shortage in 2024

U.S. Hotels Still Facing Labor Shortage – AHLA Report

U.S. hotels are grappling with a significant labor shortage even as they added 1,200 jobs to their payrolls in the month of April 2024, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite this slight uptick in employment, the industry remains 193,600 jobs short of pre-pandemic levels, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by hotels in the current economic landscape.

AHLA Interim President & CEO Kevin Carey expressed concerns over the workforce shortage hindering the industry’s full recovery. He emphasized the need for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security in making nearly 65,000 additional H-2B visas available to help fill open positions in hotels across the country.¬†

Additionally, AHLA is advocating for the passage of key bills aimed at addressing the workforce gap, including the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, the H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers (HIRE) Act, and the Closing the Workforce Gap Act.

In response to the labor shortage, hotels have been offering increased wages, benefits, and workplace flexibility to attract and retain workers. Since the onset of the pandemic, average hotel wages have seen a notable 26.7% increase, outpacing the average wage growth in the general economy. However, there are still tens of thousands of open positions in the hotel industry, as reported by Indeed.

The broader workforce landscape in the U.S. reveals a mismatch between job openings and available labor. As of March, there were 8.5 million job openings but only 6.4 million unemployed individuals to fill those positions, underscoring the nationwide challenge faced by various industries, including hospitality.