Lodging Industry is Hiring, and It Offers Good, High-Paying Jobs

Katherine Lugar

LugarThe hotel industry always has been a job creator. And that’s the case now, more than ever. With Labor Day behind us, we are looking ahead to promoting the positive story we all know so well: Our industry offers employees good jobs, competitive wages, and a path to a lifelong career. What you well know and see on a daily basis is now also part of the national record: The hospitality industry is the bright spot in the nation’s economic recovery.

Recent economic data reveal that employment in the nation’s accommodations segment should exceed pre-recession levels by the end of this year—with the last two months already exceeding pre-recession employment levels. And the news keeps getting better.

AH&LA and WageWatch partnered to release new data that further illustrate the upward mobility offered to employees in our industry. The survey, representing roughly 20 percent of hotel properties and management companies, reveals what we’ve always known: Our employees are the true “heart” of the house. The data show that the lodging sector is composed of loyal hourly and full-time employees who receive competitive pay and benefits and have a defined path toward greater career opportunities in the lodging sector.

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Some highlights: More than 82 percent of respondents say that half their workforce is paid minimum wage; the overwhelming majority of full-time employees are paid above minimum wage, including tips; more than 80 percent of hourly employees are eligible for promotion in less than a year; the majority of respondents say hourly employees stay with the company more than three years on average, and nearly 91 percent have general managers who started their careers in entry-level jobs; and college students make up 12 percent of all minimum wage positions.

Opportunity abounds in our industry. Wages are competitive and rising. Employee satisfaction is high. Rest assured that with Congress back in session and elections on the horizon, we at AH&LA will ensure that our story is heard. And with a story like ours, we can’t—and won’t—be ignored.

Katherine Lugar is president/CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Learn more at www.ahla.com and download the report here.