Hospitality industry labor shortage poses a challenge to restaurants, hotels

Updated: Sep. 15, 2019 at 3:32 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - For those looking for a job, it’s time to polish up your resume.

On Tuesday, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is hosting a job fair for the hospitality industry. It’s an industry with plenty of available jobs for qualified workers, as hotels and restaurants struggle to fill positions.

The U.S. unemployment rate is low, meaning fewer people are looking for work. Brick and Spoon co-owner Matthew Paul said it can make filling open positions difficult.

“With us being a new restaurant, it has been a bit of a challenge to draw quality employees, make sure we’re fully staffed,” Paul said.

It’s a problem for the entire hospitality industry. The New York Times recently reported there are more than a million unfilled jobs in the industry.

At the Quality Inn in Biloxi, general manager Pearl Trinh said it can sometimes be a struggle to keep qualified housekeepers, especially during the busy summer months.

“Sometime over the past summer, I hired two or three in a day, and of course, two or three days later, they didn’t work out. So it’s very hard, very high turnover," said Trinh.

To avoid causing any problems for the guests, Trinh said they sometimes have to think outside of the box.

“We cross-train a lot of our staff, and when it’s busy and when it’s short in housekeeping, we call our regular staff, like our front desk staff, management staff, we all come in and pitch in and clean,” Trinh said.

So for those looking to get a job in the hospitality industry, the odds are looking good. Paul offers this advice to job seekers.

“I think it’s important for potential employees to be persistent and be very detailed. And bring a resume," he said.

MGCCC will host its hospitality industry job fair this Tuesday at the Hospitality Resort Management Center in Biloxi.

The fair starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. Job seekers who attend should be prepared to interview.

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