Hospitality industry renews its plea for more workers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Hotels, restaurants, and other tourist destinations have been riding a rollercoaster of restrictions and reopenings for the past year.
"It’s been probably the toughest eighteen months of my career,” said Adrian Perez, the president of Heritage Hotels and Resorts.
As COVID-related federal unemployment benefits are set to expire in September, his group, and the hospitality industry in general, is renewing its call for more workers to fill vacant positions.
Perez says his group employs about 2,600 people, but they’re currently between 500-1,000 workers short.
“We have everything from management positions to hourly associates so we’re definitely in a pinch,” said Perez.
Leaders of the New Mexico Hospitality Association say there are openings in every county in the state, and they encourage people to move fast.
"I can’t imagine with the shift that’s going to happen in early September that there won’t be more people out there,” said Kathy Komoll, the CEO of the association. “And that’s why we want to get the word out– that this is the time to start looking for a job."
According to a survey done by the association in June and July, 70% of businesses in the association are paying higher wages than pre-pandemic.
"Even for jobs with no experience required or limited experience required, we’re seeing the pay rate go anywhere from $10.50 up to $20 an hour,” said Komoll.