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Hospitality Industry Still Facing Worker Shortage

If you’ve been out to eat recently then you have likely noticed the “Help Wanted” signs at your local restaurants. Worse yet, several Flagler County restaurants have closed on key dates due to the lack of staff. One out of every five jobs in our region is tied to the restaurant/hospitality industry so the Chamber began talking to local restaurauteurs and reviewing recent job surveys to better understand the problem. What we learned is disturbing.
A recent Business Insider article titled “Hospitality jobs are unpopular and raising the wage may not be enough to lure many former workers back,” illustrates the ongoing problems that beset the industry.
According to a recent study of over 30,000 job seekers, 38% of former hospitality workers report that they are not even considering a hospitality job for their next position. The report also found that hospitality workers who are switching industries are doing so in search of different work settings (52%), higher pay (45%), better benefits (29%), more schedule flexibility (19%), and remote work opportunities (16%).
The pandemic created an opportunity for hospitality workers — many of whom were furloughed or lost their jobs — to reevaluate their employment situation and consider other career options moving forward. A significant percentage are clearly taking advantage and pursuing higher paying, less physically demanding jobs.
Over 50% of former hospitality workers who are looking for other work say that no pay increase or incentive would make them return to their old restaurant, bar, or hotel job.
According to the Q2 2021 United States Job Market Report from employment website Joblist, the majority of job seekers are not interested in hospitality jobs right now. The most popular reason for the lack of interest is that job seekers would prefer a different work setting (58%), such as an office. Job seekers also cited low pay and a lack of benefits as reasons why they’re not interested.
Workers with previous hospitality experience are significantly more interested in hospitality jobs than the overall average. Nevertheless, over 50% of former hospitality workers who are moving on report that no pay increases or incentives would make them return to their old restaurant, bar, or hotel job.
They were also much more likely to say that more benefits (23% compared to 12%) or a bonus (20% compared to 9%) would help lure them back.