Why is the Hospitality Industry Struggling Pre & Post-Pandemic?

2020-2021 has been one of the most challenging years to date when it comes to unemployment. Millions of Americans have lost their part-time or full-time hospitality jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, which shutdown hundreds of thousands of small businesses. 

One industry that has struggled the most compared to any others is the hospitality sector. Hospitality careers have a tremendous amount of business types that fall into this broad category. From hotels, to restaurants, to travel services, and the tourism trade.  

This pandemic was very abrupt, and before we knew it, we had become confined to our residences in order to not catch or spread this deadly new virus.

Travel became restricted and that immediately choked the hospitality industry.  

The Department of Labor reports that 39% of all jobs in the Leisure/Hospitality industry disappeared.  

Hospitality industry is still facing struggles today

Today, as we are turning the corner and small businesses are beginning to see the light of day, the industry is still facing a massive problem with regards to staffing and filling the roles of the employees that were laid off during this time. 

During the pandemic, this industry has a demand for workers that far outweighs the number of potential employees. This dynamic is felt across the globe from our largest cities to the smaller demographics.

Some of these laid off workers have grown accustomed to staying at home and receiving unemployment checks rather than returning to their minimum wage jobs as waiters, bartenders, servers, etc. I’m sure that social programs do play into this equation heavily, but that is not the complete answer.

Since 2018, we have been policing our border stronger than any other time in our history. Our country blocked an estimated 70% of all migrant workers coming over to get work visas. With unemployment at a 50 year low in our country, and immigrants making up 31% of the hospitality workforce according to “Deloitte 2019 Travel and Leisure,” something had to give. The truth is we are struggling to fill these positions and get back to normal.

How is the hospitality industry handling these employee shortages today?

Employee shortages have resulted in very difficult times but fortunately, today our digital economy has allowed us to broadcast through social networks. Reaching the masses! Marketing your company openings through the mouth of someone who works there, is very powerful.

Another big dynamic that is occurring in this industry is the adoption of new technologies that replaces tasks that in the past only humans could perform. 

Companies are also using technology to recruit, and staff employees while using the tools available to market in mass, and build pipelines of qualified applicants that can be easily plugged into their many openings.

We will ultimately turn the corner and see our customer services industry thriving like never before.