The couple is not rich. Living in Upland, California, a city about 40 miles inland from Los Angeles, they admit that their new reality—where they can go to an airport and casually wait for standby tickets to any city in the world—keeps them longing for themselves. to squeeze.
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The travel industry is struggling with a major shortage in the labor market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, domestic employment in the leisure and hospitality sector fell nearly 8 percent in June since February 2020. That bottleneck — manifested in widespread flight cancellations, terminal halls full of lost suitcases, and reduced room service and daily housekeeping — drives companies to recruit at job fairs and sweeten their benefits with same-day bonuses and pay. It also forces them to consider seniors for positions that are far from senior.
“We are open to anything,” said Dan Bienstock, Chief People Officer of EOS Hospitality, a hotel management company. “We have more job openings across the company than ever before, and we’re thinking outside the box on how to retain talent.”
More than half of the 38 properties in EOS’s portfolio, including Red Jacket Resorts on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Cape Arundel Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, rely heavily on seasonal guests and seasonal rentals. The company isn’t actively targeting older workers for summer jobs, he said, but they are directing recruiting efforts at their hotels’ local communities to replenish summer staff long filled by international workers with H-2B visas.
“The hotel industry labor pool has been hit very hard, and these entry-level jobs have been harder to fill since the pandemic,” said Eric Rubino, chief development officer for Extreme Hospitality, an asset management firm that works with more than 300 hotels. “For seniors, who might not mind working so hard, they can say, ‘I don’t need the money, but that travel benefit means a lot.'”
Even those who don’t need the money may now see the appeal of some extra cash. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of hospitality workers over the age of 65 has outpaced the industry’s population growth since 2012, from 418,000 from 590,000 to 590,000. The rise comes as inflation hits record highs, a phenomenon that has hit retirees and those on fixed incomes the hardest.