Leisure and Hospitality Industry Faces Acute Temporary Workers Shortage


Many of the visas used to bring foreign workers to the United States are under scrutiny including those for temporary workers.

However, in industries such as hospitality, the problem is often the short supply of workers rather than overseas workers taking jobs away from locals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the leisure and hospitality industry will need an additional 1.3 million workers from 2010 to 2020.

The BLS said the number of maids and housekeepers’ jobs will rise a staggering 111,600 by 2020, a jump of 7.8 percent. The number of people working as front-desk clerks in hotels will rise 11.1 percent.

two front desk employees chatting

The leisure industry faces a shortage of foreign temporary workers

It would require a relaxation of temporary visas to meet that demand. However, the Trump administration is looking at possible visa restrictions.

Recently, we highlighted the visas that are needed to work in the hotel industry.

Restaurants, hotels, theme parks, and other leisure attractions are most likely to use J-1, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, E-2, TN and L-1 visas.

Overseas workers in the hospitality industry are may apply for J-1 visas under the Exchange Visitor Program. Companies like Marriott promise on the job training on its J-1 visa program.

It’s a wide-ranging program. There are 14 different study and work-based programs. The time you are allowed to stay in the United States can range from six months to as long as five years for university professors.

Many university students and other workers who use J-1 visas fear the Trump administration will bar them from the United States. It’s more than mere speculation.

An article in USA Today references a policy paper from 2015 in which Trump proposed the elimination of the program altogether. Although the pledge was later dropped from the Republican’s campaign website, many students remain alarmed.

Texas’s hospitality industry and other tourism-linked business make extensive use of H-2B seasonal visas for non-agricultural temporary workers from other countries. These visas are often associated with construction projects or large catering events that need servers and wait staff.

These visas have a cap, meaning many people who apply for them are unsuccessful.

Earlier this year, there were warnings signs of a looming crisis in the hotel and hospitality industry.

In February, The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, noted a shortage of workers was jeopardizing an important industry in the historic city.

Restaurant and hotel managers were reported to be desperately making the industry more popular to young, new recruits.

The Post and Courier noted evidence of a “crisis” when about 60 hotels and restaurants set up tables at a local college. It was the first time the businesses had gone to the college to attract recruits.

Typically, jobs in the hospitality industry are not as well paid as in many other industries. Jobs like porters and maids are often taken by immigrants. It can be a challenge to attract local people to fill these positions.

If you are seeking a visa for temporary work in the United States, you can seek the help of an experienced Austin immigration attorney. Call Peek Law Group at  (512) 399-2311.

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