Hospitality industry experiencing staffing shortages

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 8:10 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The hospitality worker shortage isn’t just a Panama City Beach or Bay County problem. It appears to be a nationwide issue.

According to an American Hotel and Lodging Association survey, 97% of its members reported a worker shortage.

For our area, this means many travelers are coming in, but there aren’t enough workers.

“We do have job openings, we have anything from housekeepers to maintenance, to group sales,” Robyn Evans, By the Sea Resorts Chief Operating Officer, said.

The Vice President of Royal American Hospitality said this isn’t a new problem either. In fact, he said it has been an issue for months.

“It seems like a lot longer than it probably is,” Michael Greer, VP of RAH said. “But most certainly has been 7 or 8 months.”

CareerSource Gulf Coast told NewsChannel 7 that the demand for hospitality workers in our area is continuing to grow.

“The industry has grown by 5%. In addition, to that, we have a historically low unemployment rate of 2.1%. So that makes staffing a challenge,” Becky Samarripa, Communications Manager, CareerSource GC, said.

Employers said that one of the reasons the jobs are being turned down is due to housing in the area.

“We will interview people, they will check out the area. Then we will get calls back that says I am not going to be able to take the position because I cannot find available housing or the housing is too expensive,” Evans said.

So industry leaders said they are getting creative.

“We use a lot of contract workers,” Evans said. “Which has helped us a great deal. But there is also a shortage of that because for a period of time people couldn’t travel from other countries. So we weren’t able to get those contract workers.”

For now, employers like Greer said they will be focusing on the employees they currently have.

“They’re always very important to us but now I think as an employer, it’s more important to do a little extra. Because if you lose one you might not be able to replace them,” Greer said.

If you are looking for a job within the hospitality industry employers said there are plenty of openings. All you have to do is apply.

If you need help CareerSource offers interview coaching and resume assistance.

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