Hospitality jobs in South Florida

Certain sectors of the economy are rebounding and jobs are following. Here’s an update on hotel and restaurant jobs in South Florida:

If you’re looking for work in South Florida, try hotels and restaurants.

Broward and Miami-Dade counties now have more people employed in lodging and food service than they did before the recession, and Palm Beach County is catching up to its former peak. Broward alone added 3,800 hotel and restaurant jobs in October from a year earlier, up 5.9 percent, state data show.

The jobs are growing because of record tourism in South Florida, as the U.S. economy recovers and visitors arrive from across the country and from Canada, Europe and Latin America. Broward set a new tourism peak for the 12 months ending Sept. 30: 11 million overnight visitors who spent $9 billion, the county’s travel bureau said. Tourism experts expect continued growth at least through 2012.

The job trend holds statewide, with hospitality leading Florida’s job recovery. Hotels and restaurants employed 31,700 more people this October than last, up by 4.4 percent to a new state record, data show.

Some new employees are coming from other fields, where work is less plentiful, including construction.

This is good news, as strong sectors should rebound first. South Florida is a mecca for tourists, so as the tourists come back, signaling a return to normalcy, then we see these hospitality jobs come back. Tourists and hospitality workers then spend money, fueling a broader recovery in the region.

Regulations and jobs

It’s sad how lame our political discourse has become. Complex issues like jobs and regulations become sound bites between both extremes. Instead of debating sensible regulations and the cost and benefits of specific rules like environmental rules, we get shouting matches between the parties on these issues.

The Washington Post has a good article on the complex issues surrounding regulations and the impact on jobs.

The Muskingum River coal-fired power plant in Ohio is nearing the end of its life. AEP, one of the country’s biggest coal-based utilities, says it will cut 159 jobs when it shuts the decades-old plant in three years — sooner than it would like — because of new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency.

About an hour’s drive north, the life of another power plant is just beginning. In Dresden, Ohio, AEP has hired hundreds to build a natural-gas-fueled plant that will employ 25 people when it starts running early next year — and that will emit far fewer pollutants.

The two plants tell a complex story of what happens when regulations written in Washington ripple through the real economy. Some jobs are lost. Others are created. In the end, say economists who have studied this question, the overall impact on employment is minimal.

“If you’re a coal miner in West Virginia, it’s not a great comfort that a bunch of guys in Texas are employed doing natural gas,” said Roger Noll, an economics professor at Stanford and co-director of the university’s program on regulatory policy. “Some people identify with the beneficiaries, others identify with those who bear the cost, and no amount of argument is ever going to change their minds.”

Read the whole article for a good perspective on this issue. The bottom line is that regulations can also help create jobs and add certainty, though of course some regulations do hurt jobs. We have to measure that impact versus the environmental and safety benefits we get from rules. Things like a carbon tax should also be evaluated, as here we just put a cost on pollution as opposed to specific regulations.

Online Education: Using Twitter to Get the Job You Deserve

Social media is a twenty-first century revolution that has swept the globe. It has given billions of people new opportunities to share their voices, connect, and facilitate the type of discussion that helps propagate more revolutions. It has infiltrated television, movies, advertising, mobile phones, online education, and a whole slew of other niches that are heavily embedded in many peoples’ daily lifestyles. To say that social media is here to stay would be an absurd understatement. In a way, the world is moving towards virtual connectivity on a level that parallels the time when the Internet first became available for personal use.

One of the most interesting things about this connectivity is how it has redefined what it means to network professionally. In the old days, networking to leverage relationships for careers was a matter of putting on a suit and tie and heading out to dinner parties—but no longer is this the case. Instead, you can join virtual networks dedicated to this type of activity like LinkedIn, Plaxo, or Jobster. Sure: you might have to bring out the suit and tie once in a while, but you’re far more likely to score a job through the Internet than you are by hosting dinner parties today (unless you can afford it).

Twitter especially is a unique platform for finding jobs for companies whose visions you are passionate about. These days, especially with the advent of online education, more and more people are obtaining highly accredited degrees—the competition is fierce, and it has become extremely important to differentiate yourself and to establish an online presence that is credible, intriguing, and that piques the interest of employers you want to work for.

And now, the million-dollar question: How do you do it?

Establish an online presence

Employers love to find people who fit their company’s cultural and behavioral values. Do you know what those values are? Do you want to work for a tech firm that values a geeky understanding of computers and the Internet? Establish yourself as an authority and a pundit in the niche you’re interested in sweeping and you will likely attract the attention of unique employers. Do you tweet about industry-relevant topics? Do you demonstrate a singular knowledge for your realm of expertise? Do your insights give other people a better understanding of the way you think—the way you approach a problem, the way you interact with others? By establishing an online presence via Twitter (where companies are always watching and tweeting themselves), you can essentially sell yourself in an environment where hungry recruiters are constantly scouting.

Connect with recruiters on Twitter

Any smart company looking to hire fresh talent knows that the Internet is one of the first places to go. Recruiters are often required to use social media as a means for sifting through potential applicants, and you might find that your dream company’s best headhunter is more sociable than you think. Follow these people—watch what they’re tweeting about, and try to connect with them about openings at their company. So what if you find that they’re not hiring right now? The more you can expose yourself to the right people, the better your opportunities are of receiving an email one day that says “Hey, send me your resume!”

Expand your network with the right people

Make friends. Connect with relevant people on Twitter who work in your industry. See what they’re talking about, and get involved in creative discussion that establishes your unique voice in your specific niche. The more your network expands—just like in the real world!—the more you raise the chance for making a random connection that could lead to your next big break. And remember: none of this requires toasts of campaign over an expensive caviar dinner—this can be done from home. Or a café. Or a smartphone.

At the end of the day, your ability to solidify the authority of your online presence will translate into career wins that you never even thought were possible. It’s very common today for hiring teams to type your name into Google when considering your application—so why not give them something unbelievably stellar to judge you by?

Spending time abroad after graduation

This has been a very difficult time for graduates, as the great recession has made it very difficult to find a job and get your career started. Many young people are stuck living at home with their parents and don’t know what to do next.

We’ve stressed the importance of creativity and finding a career that suits you, regardless of the economic situations. We’ve also stressed the importance of work-life balance, and there must be more to life than just your work.

This might be a time for you to also consider doing other things while you wait for the job market to come back. It might seem silly yo think about traveling the world given the economic circumstances, but again it’s a matter of getting creative. If your overall career is on hold, why not figure out a way to see the world? You’re only young once, and now you can take advantage of the freedom of fewer choices here at home.

Cruise companies are one option, as you can get a job on a cruise ship and make pretty good money. You’ll work hard, but you’ll see new places and you’ll be surrounded by other young people. Just imagine the opportunities that could come from that.

Europe is also another option. Of course the job market is even worse in places like England, but there are always opportunities for Americans, particularly if you’re willing to consider an internship. Look for companies in the tourism industry or even finance. Again, it’s a matter of being creative. You may find yourself working in hotels in Liverpool or a Cardiff hotel just as easily as you might be working for an American company in London.

You are only limited by your imagination. If seeing the world is a priority, use this time in your life to find something unique an interesting. It sure beats hanging around in your old bedroom at your parent’s house.

Facebook and job interviews

Most people are aware now that the stuff you post on Facebook and other social media outlets will likely be researched by prospective employers. This interview with Dr. Lawrence Burgee, Department Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Information Systems, Brown School of Business and Leadership, Stevenson University, illustrates the point. He tells a story of one interview where an applicant was asked if a person could be their friend for an hour to look over their Facebook page while others were interviewing him.

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