CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — A U.S. Jobs report released Wednesday shows there are 11.3 million job openings nationwide right now. That means there are 5 million more job openings than there are people actively looking for employment.
The unemployment rate is now at 3.8%, which means that the U.S. has almost recovered all the jobs lost during the pandemic.
The labor turnover survey showed that the two industries with the highest unemployment rate are leisure and hospitality at 11.7% and accommodation and food at 12.2%. The two sectors nationwide are looking to hire 3.7 million people.
Hotels and eateries are working hard to fill open positions, especially in the sunshine state where tourism is shattering records post-pandemic and Spring Break is almost in full swing.
If you take a drive down Gulf Boulevard, you’ll spot now hiring signs dotting just about every block.
Jeff Lidinsky is among those looking to hire. He’s the general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Clearwater Beach Marina and the AC Hotel Clearwater Beach, which is set to open this May.
“Right now, we’re hiring for all positions. We are looking for front desk, housekeeping, food and beverage, engineering, security. All kinds of positions with different skill sets,” Lidinsky said.
Lidinsky hopes to hire between 40 and 50 people to staff their Courtyard by Mariott Clearwater Beach Marina property which just opened a few months ago and the soon-to-open AC Hotel. Some positions are seasonal, and others are permanent and full-time.
The hotel is hosting two job fairs on Sunday, March 13, and Monday, March 14 from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on both days. That’s peak Spring Break week on Clearwater Beach.
“We’re hiring in a busy season, but nothing says joining a hotel like when you get to hit the ground running. It’s exciting. Tourism is thriving and doing well here,” Lidinsky added.
Just down the street at Pearly’s Beach Eats, leaders at the alfresco restaurant are looking to hire cooks.
“Cooks are some of the backbones of these restaurants so if we can get more cooks working, that would be great,” said Malcom Gregory.
It’s a position with fierce competition as several restaurants work to hire kitchen staff
“The more people who help us, the better we can serve the guests and I think that’s everywhere. A lot of the surf shops, apparel shops, and restaurants are all looking for people,” Gregory elaborated.
Some businesses are having to get creative to get more people on board. Lidinsky’s hotels are offering sign-on bonuses, attendance bonuses, and travel perks…including hundreds of dollars off vacations for employees who stay at Marriott properties.
“The idea is to create and cultivate the best hotel and family work environment so when we do hire them with these great incentives they will want to stay and work with us,” Lidinsky said.
Tourism is better than ever right now and businesses say once they’re back to full staff, the future will be great.
“It’s all about finding the right people. If we can get a couple great team members out of this job fair, that’s fantastic. Recruiting is an ongoing effort,” Lidinsky added.
Anyone interested in the Marriott Clearwater Beach job fairs can RSVP with a time frame between 11 a.m. -7 p.m. that they’d like to stop by the Marina hotel at 455 East Shore Drive in Clearwater Beach.
An RSVP email can be sent to email@example.com. The job fair will be held on the 4th floor Harborview Event Room on March 13 and 14. Resumes are appreciated but not required by hotel management. Candidates can also apply on the Indeed job site.