Posted by Jack Cancila
In a recent post on the National Restaurant Association’s website, it was announced that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that the restaurant industry had added 12,800 jobs in the month of October. This is on top of increases of 18,300 in September and 21,700 in August. This totals over 50,000 jobs created during this 3-month period. Simply put, the hospitality industry has been and continues to be one heck of a job creation machine, even during an extremely weak economy.
I have to admit that I have been surprised by how resilient the hospitality industry has been during the economic crisis. Restaurants have hung in there despite belt tightening by families, and hotel occupancy rates are up from the previous couple of years. St. Louis is no exception.
Locally, I attended the St. Louis Area Convention and Visitors’ Commission (Explore St. Louis) annual meeting. St. Louis City Mayor, Francis Slay, spoke at the event. At the time, Governor Jay Nixon’s special legislative session was winding down, and it was apparent that the proposed “China Hub” project, the key job creation project for the region, was tied up in politics and not going to be approved. During the CVC meeting, the mayor turned to the leaders of the local hospitality industry and acknowledged that their industry was going to be the primary job creator for the city and the region. The China Hub proposal was one of many opportunities for those in the hospitality industry.
Local hotels, helped by large events such as the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Annual Meeting and Exposition and the World Series, have done much better in 2011 than expected. For example, in early October, a brand new Embassy Suites Hotel opened in downtown St. Louis, adding 100+ jobs. In September, Pinnacle Entertainment also recently announced an expansion of their newest casino, which will bring an additional 100 jobs to the area.
I fully understand that not all of these newly-created jobs are the most desirable or highly-paid positions. However, these positions are an excellent start for a career in hospitality. With over 100 jobs at both Pinnacle and Embassy Suites, there will be a number of jobs that offer a great career opportunity toward earning management position within this vibrant industry. The hospitality industry is surviving the recession and is still growing.
If you are interested in learning more about earning a certificate in Hospitality, consider the program offered at Saint Louis University’s School for Professional Studies.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaiban/4479214196/