WASHINGTON—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announced it has established September 1 as National Hotel Employee Day in the National Day Calendar.
National Hotel Employee Day will be celebrated annually to thank hotel employees for their hard work and dedication and recognize the integral role they play in the U.S. travel, tourism, and hotel industries.
This year, National Hotel Employee Day will take on added significance, as hotels across the nation are working to quickly fill more than 120,000 open hotel jobs. To attract more talent, hotels are offering current and prospective employees higher wages, better benefits, and more flexibility than ever before.
“On this inaugural National Hotel Employee Day, we thank America’s nearly two million hotel employees. Every day in communities across the nation, hotel employees’ service and dedication help facilitate some of Americans’ most important life events—from wedding receptions to family reunions and vacations,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “And with more than 120,000 open hotel jobs across the nation, now is the time to consider one of the more than 200 enriching careers in the hotel industry.”
Nearly all hotels are experiencing staffing shortages, and half report being severely understaffed, according to a member survey conducted by AHLA. Ninety-seven percent (97 percent) of survey respondents indicated they are experiencing a staffing shortage, 49 percent severely so. The most critical staffing need is housekeeping, with 58 percent ranking it as their biggest challenge.
These staffing challenges coupled with strong summer travel demand are resulting in historic career opportunities for hotel employees. National average hotel wages have increased from $18.74/hour before the pandemic to $22.25/hour in May 2022. And hotel benefits and flexibility are better than ever.
“There has never been a better time to work in the hotel industry than right now,” Rogers said.
The hotel industry offers more than 200 different career paths and many opportunities for upward mobility, with 80 percent of entry-level workers eligible for a promotion in less than one year and 50 percent of hotel general managers having started in an entry-level position.