Up and down the coast we are seeing “help wanted” signs in almost every shop, lodging facility and restaurant. Due to a variety of factors, there is a significant lack of workforce supply. This isn’t a problem that can be solved in a short amount of time, so for this summer, coastal businesses are begging for patience from visitors.
Some of the factors contributing to this staffing shortage are; sharp increase in tourism demand, lack of workforce housing, fears of COVID exposure in the workplace, and more. This is not only a problem on the Oregon Coast, but is echoed in many industries throughout the country.
Businesses are competing for great workers. Average pay rates are rising quickly and hiring incentives are mind-boggling. For example, the café in Neskowin is offering a $5000 bonus for summer workers. Other companies are offering a plethora of creative bonus incentives and higher rates than ever seen.
What can a visitor do? Local coastal small businesses want to be open and provide amazing levels of customer service and professionalism. The most helpful thing is to be patient and kind to the hard-working locals who keep things running. Oregon State Parks, and other local services to public areas are short-staffed too. Keep that in mind when leaving garbage or visiting natural areas. Packing out what you pack in is the most helpful thing you can do.
Here at Kiwanda Coastal Properties, we are fortunate to have an amazing core group of staff dedicated to providing excellent vacations and keeping the vacation homes beautiful and ready for guests. Our priorities are to continue this level of service; but a little extra patience and flexibility can definitely go a long way towards a positive experience for guests and locals.
We are thankful for our guests and visitors! You keep our local region moving, and we believe everyone needs more beach time.
Here is a quick list of relevant news sources:
Local State Representative David Gomberg says:
Up and down the Coast, we are seeing help wanted signs. Businesses can’t find workers. And the result is that some fast-food outlets are closed, service levels are strained in restaurants, shops are limiting hours, you can’t find a contractor, products become scarce or more expensive, and waits are longer everywhere from your doctor’s office to the pharmacy to getting your car serviced. All of us are being affected! FULL ARTICLE
State of Oregon Employment Department says:
Labor demand and wage growth remain strong, while the pool of candidates is smaller than you might think. FULL ARTICLE
New York Times says:
Owners across the country report a shortage in help, as rebounding business forces them to compete for a shrunken pool of applicants. FULL ARTICLE
A great article from Culture Study:
Some of these unfillable jobs are in places without affordable housing — or, like Missoula, where cost of living has continued to rise over the course of the pandemic. Others are seasonal and/or tourist-adjacent. Many are at restaurants, particularly fast-food.
A quick search on google will echo this all across the country in the tourism and lodging sectors.