WTTC warns about job vacancies in US tourism

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WTTC warns about job vacancies in US tourism
Source: Twitter @IATA
July 26, 2022

The World Travel & Tourism Council revealed that 412,000 jobs will remain unfilled unless urgent action is taken


A new analysis by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism business sector, estimates that 412,000 Travel & Tourism jobs in the US put the sector's recovery at risk.  
 
According to WTTC data, one in 18 jobs remained unfilled during the first half of 2022, highlighting a talent crunch that has plagued the sector since early 2021. An estimated 321,000 travel and tourism jobs were vacant in the period from January to June 2022 (a 5.4% shortage), and the shortage of workers is expected to persist in Q3, reaching a maximum of 412,000 vacant positions in the sector (a deficit of 7% ).
 
During 2020, employment in the sector fell 35.9% in the US at its lowest point. As global travel and tourism began to recover in 2021, the US saw a 12.4% increase in the number of jobs directly supported by the sector, adding 480,000 jobs back to the market.
 
Despite positive growth in 2021, tourist transport, accommodation and recreation are experiencing the most serious impact of labor shortages this year. Employers in the lodging industry in particular may struggle to find suitable candidates for nearly one in seven hotel and resort jobs.
 
“As the US moves full steam ahead towards a robust travel and tourism recovery, the lack of qualified and available talent remains a major concern for the sector,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO. . "This is especially true given the surge in international visitors following the removal of COVID testing for incoming travellers."
 
Measures to boost job growth
According to the WTTC, the outlook could be more positive later this year and into 2023 if government officials and the public sector work together to increase the availability of eligible workers while tailoring career opportunities in the sector to better attract top talent. 
 
“There is enormous potential to increase the number of workers available in the US by encouraging greater labor mobility within the US and across its borders,” Simpson said. “Strict visa allocations are affecting many industries, ultimately affecting America's wealth and growth prospects. We urge officials to consider measures that make visas and work permits more affordable. accessible”.

According to the report, data from the US Census Bureau indicates that between 2016 and 2020, international migration to the US plummeted from about 1.05 million people to just 477,000. 

Some of the key measures identified in the report for both governments and the private sector to address the talent gap are:

• Facilitate labor mobility across international borders, with more favorable visa policies 
• Allow flexible and remote working where feasible, allowing for part-time or contractor-based opportunities where possible
• Ensure decent work and competitive benefits for compensation packages
• Attract talent by improving job perception and promoting viable career paths with opportunities for growth
• Develop and support a skilled workforce through comprehensive educational programs as well as upskilling and retraining to current talent
• Adopt innovative technology and digital solutions to relieve pressure on staff, improve daily operations and improve customer experience

By taking the right steps to support Travel & Tourism job growth, the sector can exceed pre-pandemic levels and successfully meet consumer demand across the industry.

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