WageWatch has released its 2015 Lodging Employment Forecast. Below are some highlights from the report.
WageWatch is forecasting employment growth seasonally adjusted on average of 15,000 jobs in 2015. Our forecast is based in part on the financial forecasts for the lodging sector by PKF Hospitality Research and Smith Travel Research. Both research firms are forecasting strong RevPAR growth in 2015 of 7.6% and 6.4%, respectively; as well as occupancy reaching new highs for the industry, approaching 66%. New supply is forecast to increase by 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively, modest but positive growth.
The number of unfilled jobs in the accommodations and food service sectors has continued to increase. Over the course of the economic recovery, the percentage of jobs posted but left unfilled in a given month has edged steadily upward. This trend is the result of increased demand for employees as hotels and food establishments look to fill out their staff and open new locations; as well as increased confidence by workers to look for new employment and leave their current employer.
Real GDP growth was 2.4% for 2014 as compared to 2.2% for 2013 as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce. GDP growth for the last two quarters of 2014 was 5.0% and 2.6%, respectively. A consensus of recent forecasts of real GDP growth in 2015 is for 3.1% to 3.3%. Real GDP growth has averaged only 2.2% a year since the recover began in the third quarter of 2009.
The most significant change to economic assumptions for this year will likely be the improving performance of the small business sector, which represents approximately half of the U.S. economy. It is a key sector that has underperformed every year since the end of the recession in 2009 and kept the economy from reaching its full potential. This year, could see a breakout for small businesses.
The coming year should set more new records for employment as new hotels and small business employers enter markets around the country, increasing the competition for experienced and qualified workers in the lodging sector. Finding qualified people to hire will be a great challenge across the country in 2015. This will especially be true for the lodging sector. Employment levels in the lodging sector are back to prerecession levels. The big news for 2014 was that employment in the lodging industry has fully recovered from the 2008-09 recession, reaching record employment levels in July, August and September of 2014. The number of job openings is at a 14-year high as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with over 8,000 properties in its database. WageWatch also consults routinely with management companies on their pay structures and pay rates. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.