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Some industries continue to recover from ‘big resignations’

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Global events in the first few years of the 2020s forced and voluntarily forced many Americans and Mid-Texans out of work.

For example, some hospitality workers who were forced to leave when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted were either paid less or left their jobs in search of more personal and meaningful work. There was also

Some call this period the “great retirement,” and it will culminate locally in the summer of 2022, when the number of job openings in the Austin area tops 100,000, a record high, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. became.

But since then, some industries that have been unable to fill positions have recovered, and the “great retirements” as we know them have subsided.

“We’re not seeing the kind of turnover we’ve seen before during mass retirements,” said Bryce Bencivengo, director of public affairs at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

“But here in the Austin area there are still a lot of local job openings,” he continued. “There is still a demand for labor, especially in certain sectors. Currently, Bencivengo said there are still about 80,000 job openings.

Texas restaurant recovery

One of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic was the restaurant industry.

The industry is the second largest private sector employer in Texas, providing jobs to about 11% of all Texas employees, according to the company. Texas Restaurant Association.

TRA’s head of public affairs Kelsey Erickson said the labor shortage was the industry’s biggest challenge even before the pandemic.

“We lost about half of our jobs, hundreds of thousands of employees, overnight due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A pretty dramatic loss to say the least,” Ericsson said.

But Erickson said Texas’ restaurant industry was actually able to bounce back from its losses faster than most states or the country as a whole. He said it took about a year for the industry to reach pre-pandemic levels after COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, but by early 2023 the industry is above pre-pandemic levels. rice field.

“Texas has completely won the race, so to speak, in terms of leading the nation in terms of jobs and job growth,” Erickson said.

“Our economy is doing well overall. But also the support of the Texas Restaurant Association during the pandemic has been a big help,” she continued.

“We are now able to open restaurants more quickly. We have actually developed standards that other countries follow when it comes to: How do we do this while keeping people safe, and we’ve had some really great Congresses,” Eriksson said. takeaway alcohol bill and the Federal Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act.

Ericsson said the pandemic has brought some tangible challenges to the industry, but “big resignations and social changes like that can also [created] It’s an opportunity for us,” she said.

“I think people started to really think, ‘How much money do I need to have for the lifestyle I really want?'” she said. “We have a lot of young employees who don’t necessarily want to work 9-5 Monday through Friday,” Ericsson continued. “So we offer a lot of flexibility [and] There are many opportunities for creativity and entrepreneurship. ”

austin lifeguard

Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department has struggled to recruit and retain enough lifeguards since COVID-19 restrictions were eased in 2020.

“2019 saw record numbers of lifeguards,” said Aaron Levine, Park Service’s swim program manager. “The novel coronavirus hit us all, locked us up, and we couldn’t really go back from there,” he said.

Due to shortages, the agency had to close some pools and was unable to provide all underwater services.

“We had to stop training completely. [2020] Have a fulfilling year. As such, we were unable to continue the momentum we have built over the past few years to reach our 2019 goals,” Levine said.

But after extensive coordinated efforts by Austin officials, the department celebrated reaching pre-pandemic levels by hiring enough lifeguards. The Park Service said all currently operating pools are open.

“It’s very exciting,” Levine said. “It’s 105 degrees outside.” [Wednesday]…that’s why it’s so important to provide these lifeguarded spaces to enjoy and recreate water play. ”

still recovering

Bryce Bencivengo of the Austin Chamber of Commerce said one area where demand hasn’t waned is healthcare. In Austin, he says there are nearly 5,000 vacancies for registered nurses in the Austin area.

“The demand for that skill is very high, and it’s been in demand for quite some time,” Bencivengo said. “This is our number one title currently available in Austin.”

Bencivengo said people can view materials from the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Click here for Monthly Business Report.

https://www.kxan.com/news/texas/some-industries-continue-to-recover-from-the-great-resignation/ Some industries continue to recover from ‘big resignations’

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