Labor shortage hits tourism in North Platte

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) – In May 2022, U.S. employers added 390,000 jobs. According to the United States Chamber of Commerce, if every unemployed person in the country found a job, there would still be 5.3 million vacancies. The labor shortage is causing major setbacks for employers nationwide. Locally, companies find unique solutions to welcome customers.

“It’s mind-boggling that we’re in a labor shortage,” said Richard Simmons, general manager of Hampton Inn North Platte. “The population of North Platte has not changed much. Are we short of manpower or short of desire? »

Companies are reducing their working hours and finding alternatives. Due to a labor shortage, the Cody Park Pool is only open June 1 through July 31.

“North Platte isn’t the only one affected,” said Bob Barr, superintendent of recreation for the town of North Platte.

“We are reducing our opening hours to accommodate as many summer activities as possible. We want to be frank and honest. We work with our staff to provide the maximum for the community,” Barr said.

Although Nebraska Game and Parks has increased its pay scale by 33%, Lake McConaughy and other major parks are about half staffed.

“We’re seeing staffing shortages like everyone else in the state,” said Julie Gieser, Nebraska Game and Parks. “It’s been a tougher year to fill positions, but our local parks look better than other places in the state that have more amenities.”

More people are interested in traveling this summer, which means the tourism industry could run into labor shortages. Some companies are hiring more school-aged youth to fill positions.

“Some of the staff were worried about keeping these young people around,” Simmons said. “These young people are our future. We get to shape them and improve the workforce.

As tourism picks up and the demand for workers continues, experts advise people to be patient with businesses experiencing staff shortages.

“Imagine yourself in the shoes of a restaurant or an attraction,” said Lisa Burke, executive director of the Lincoln County Visitors Bureau. “If things don’t happen as fast as someone wants, they have to be more patient. I know people are frustrated with the lack of travel over the years. We must be kind to our neighbour. We may have forgotten that. Now people want everything back to 100%. Unfortunately, we are not.

Lincoln County Visitors Bureau, Nebraska Game and Parks and Hampton Inn North Platte are hiring. For a list of open positions in North Platte, click here.

Copyright 2022 KNOP. All rights reserved.

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