Travel, Tourism Industry Urging US Government to Address Unfilled Jobs

Travel, Tourism Industry Urging US Government to Address Unfilled Jobs

People checking in at hotel. (photo via Hispanolistic / E+)

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced it believes 412,000 industry jobs in the United States will remain unfilled this year.

According to data from the WTTC, one in 18 travel and tourism jobs remained vacant during the first half of 2022, highlighting a talent crunch that has plagued the sector since early 2021. An estimated 321,000 positions went unfilled in the January-June period.

In the third quarter, worker shortages are expected to persist, peaking at 412,000 sector job vacancies, a seven percent shortfall. In 2021, welcomed 480,000 jobs back into the market as the industry bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the positive growth in 2021, sightseeing transportation, accommodation and recreation are experiencing the most serious labor shortages this year. Employers in the accommodation industry continue to struggle finding suitable candidates for nearly one in seven hotel-and-resort job postings.

“As the U.S. pushes full steam ahead toward a solid recovery for Travel & Tourism, a lack of qualified, available talent remains a major concern for the sector,” WTTC President Julia Simpson said. “This is especially true given the sudden spike in international visitors following the removal of COVID tests for inbound travelers.”

The WTTC is forecasting a more positive outlook later this year and into 2023 if government officials and the public sector work together to increase the availability of eligible workers while adapting sector career opportunities to better appeal to top talent.

Some key measures identified in the report include facilitating labor mobility across international borders, enabling flexible and remote working where feasible and ensuring decent work and competitive employee benefits and compensation packages.

By adopting suitable measures to support travel and tourism employment growth, WTTC officials believe the sector can surpass pre-pandemic levels and meet consumer demand across the industry.

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