As job creation remains a serious priority for the national economy, the hospitality and leisure sector continues to add jobs at a healthy clip. One month during the summer, for example, 45,000 of the 255,000 new jobs created were in this sector, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
This was especially good news for the labor-intense lodging industry and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the industry’s trade association, was quick to take note, describing the industry’s rate of growth over the last six years as “extraordinary.” According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel and tourism directly employs 8.1 million people and supports another 7 million people in other industries.
The robust employment numbers are equally good news at the property level. Given the service nature of the business, hotels and resorts hire large numbers of entry-level workers and devote significant resources to recruitment, training and retention. For many of today’s entry-level candidates, English may not be their first language, nor may our culture of teamwork and empowerment be concepts they’re used to.
But these are reasonable challenges to deal with. The latest Labor Department numbers indicate the economy’s accelerating job growth is helping a broader range of workers, including those entry-level candidates who likely have less education. But if they’re willing to learn and are motivated to succeed, there’s a place for them under our industry’s welcoming umbrella. In fact, entry-level jobs often lead to satisfying long-term careers.
Ultimately, their enthusiasm makes our industry stronger, which is good news not only for owners and operators, but guests as well.
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