Contrary to popular belief, there is a cure for the summertime blues -- especially if you're unemployed. This summer, one in three employers in the hospitality and leisure industry intend to hire more help, according to the latest quarterly Manpower survey. That's far more hiring than any other industry.
With gas prices down, vacation spending is up, and companies that cater to travelers are thriving. Enterprise Rent-a-Car, for example, plans to hire about 8,500 college graduates for management training positions this fiscal year.
Americans will spend nearly $16 billion more this year on summer vacations than they did last year, for a whopping total of close to $86.4 billion, according to an Ipsos/Mondial Assistance survey. And that probably doesn't include tips.
It'll take thousands of workers to accommodate all those vacationers, and the jobs that are available go so much further than hotel maintenance and theme park staff. Someone's got to feed all those hungry tourists, so servers, cooks, chefs and managers are in demand. Someone's got to communicate with them, so those who are multilingual should also be able to find good jobs. And all the stores within a mile of tourist destinations will need extra help as well.
"Even candy makers," says Vickie Elmer of Glassdoor.com. "Think fudge shops on Mackinac Island and other resorts." And then there's that beachside saltwater taffy that tourists still seem to be so fond of.
And no, it's still not too late to get a summer job. There are a number of employees who will be going on vacation themselves, and will need someone to fill in for them. Then there are those seasonal workers who find that they can't take the heat, and leave in the middle of the season. Also, many employers tend to under-hire at the beginning of the season, knowing that they can always bring on more staff if there's a need.
And this year at least, it looks like there will definitely be a need. Americans say they plan to spend 9 percent more on vacation this summer than last summer. Someone has to be there to process their cash -- why not you?
Stories from AARP