Job postings containing keywords such as ‘tourism’ and ‘hospitality’ in Ireland more than doubled (up 104%) as a proportion of total job postings in the three months to the end of August compared to the lows of Lockdown in 2020. The hiring recovery kicked-off in May which was the first month to show an increase (up 87%) in recruitment after 15 consecutive months of decline.
Whilst employers in the sector search for staff, the pace of recovery in demand for tourism/hospitality jobs is somewhat less rapid, consistent with reports that jobs are proving hard to fill.
Searches for tourism-/hospitality-related roles were up 38% in the three months to the end of August, rising by only a third of the pace at which employers are growing job posts according to Indeed.
Earlier this month Fáilte Ireland launched a campaign to attract jobseekers stating that many tourism businesses have been unable to capitalise on the available demand for their service due to staff shortages.
With inbound tourism effectively shut and domestic tourism severely curtailed the pandemic has had a severe impact on a sector accounting for 5% of GDP. Of the 110,700 people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments as of the 21st of September, over 19,000 were in the hospitality/restaurant/food sector, down from a peak of 131,000 in May 2020.
Indeed’s recently-published monthly Job Search Survey shows that care responsibilities such as parenting and fears about contracting Covid in the workplace are continuing to act as barriers to those without jobs and not in receipt of PUP returning to work.
Indeed’s research also shows that PUP recipients have become much more active in their job search, with the proportion of respondents in this category saying they’re urgently looking for a role rising from 13% in July, to 36% in August.
That increase comes as phased reductions in PUPs began to kick-in during September.
Overall demand for labour has continued to rise, with job postings as of the 10th of September 2021 on Indeed Ireland 32.2% above the pre-pandemic baseline of the 1st of February 2020. With employers in a range of sectors in addition to tourism/hospitality encountering hiring bottlenecks, the supply of workers is struggling to keep pace.
“Tourism accounts for one in 10 jobs worldwide and is a major source of employment due to its labour-intensive nature” commented Jack Kennedy, Economist with Indeed, “so the recovery of the sector will play an important role in helping reduce unemployment levels in Ireland. The industry is the economic backbone of many rural communities and is particularly important for younger people who will often use part-time roles to help them fund their studies.
“Our data paints a welcome picture of a sharp recovery in demand from employers as Lockdown restrictions eased. It also shows that the level of demand from job-seekers has not rebounded at the same pace, explaining the acute staff shortages that we’re hearing from those in the hotel, pub and restaurant trade. This is likely compounded by a dip in supply of workers from overseas who often provide necessary support to the sector.
“For some, concerns about exposure to Covid-19 remains a barrier to returning to work. A sustained period of reduced case numbers and hospitalisations, coupled with high vaccination rates, may help reassure this cohort that’s holding back to avail of the large number of opportunities that are out there,” he continued.
“The recovery in labour demand is being felt through the economy, with job postings over 30% ahead of pre-pandemic levels and it’s likely that other sectors of the economy beyond tourism and hospitality may also find roles challenging to fill.”
The aim of World Tourism Day, which was on the 27th of September, is to raise awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value.