(Bloomberg) – According to a survey that highlights the challenges of hiring restaurants, bars and hotels, more than half of US hotel workers would not go back to their old jobs and over a third would not even consider getting back into the industry to get in.
According to a survey of around 13,000 job seekers carried out in the second quarter by Joblist, a job search engine, these workers would not bring a raise or an incentive to return to their previous job. These former hotel workers wanted higher wages, a less physically demanding job and better social benefits, the survey shows.
The results show the extent of the industry’s unpopularity as the economy reopens in the beginning. The high number of vacancies in the country – many in the service sector – suggests that growing consumer demand cannot be met, which threatens to slow the general recovery.
“The obvious conclusion is that if companies cannot expand as planned, growth prospects will diminish,” said James Knightley, ING’s international chief economist, in a customer statement.
Other data points to the sector’s troubles: The Institute for Supply Management’s June Services Index slowed from a record high in May, mainly due to a decline in the employment measure.
A separate monthly Labor Department survey on Wednesday found that job vacancies rose to a record in May, suggesting employers were struggling to fill positions. The number of people who left their jobs voluntarily fell, but remained below the highest in history at 3.6 million.
The hotel and restaurant sectors, along with healthcare and education, were among the sectors with the highest number of vacancies.
While some factors holding people out of the labor market could subside in the coming months, including childcare issues and the expiry of emergency benefits, other changes could take months or years. These include a skill mismatch and location mismatch between the needs of employers and the unemployed, early retirement and lower seasonal migration, according to Capital Economics, which predicts the labor shortage will persist into next year.
“The widespread signs of labor shortages are real and reflect longer-lasting factors,” said Michael Pearce, chief US economist with Capital Economics, in a research note. “While we’re confident that all three will eventually be rolled back, that could take many years.”
In the US, the leisure and hospitality industry still lost 2.2 million jobs compared to February, a large portion of the roughly 6.7 million job missing across all occupations. This is despite the fact that companies are largely reopening and employers say they are desperate for work.
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