As tourism picks back up, some Memphis restaurants and hotels remain understaffed

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The customers are back, but the workers are not, and that’s causing problems for Memphis’s tourism industry.

As people start flooding into restaurants and hotels again many are finding there’s not enough staff to meet their needs. The unemployment rate in Tennessee has fallen to five percent. There are simply more jobs than workers to fill them.

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Restaurants and hotels laid off a lot off workers in the past year and many of those workers found new jobs in unrelated businesses. The staffing shortage is not only hurting customers, but some businesses are losing money.

“One of the biggest challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industry, not only here in Memphis but across the country, is rebuilding the workforce,” said Kevin Kern with Memphis Tourism. “Right now some hotels are even having to take rooms out of inventory which they could sell because they just don’t have the staff to service those rooms and check people in and do all the things.”

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Memphis Tourism recently held a job fair for the hospitality industry but few job-seekers showed up.

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