Fuel Costs Cause For Vacation Concern

CAN THE NATION’S WORKERS AFFORD TO TRAVEL THIS SUMMER?

As summer approaches, workers across the nation are undoubtedly planning upcoming vacations. According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans say taking a vacation is important, and a recent TripAdvisor poll found that 86 percent of Americans plan on taking a vacation this summer, three percent more than last year.  However, with average fuel prices hovering near $4 a gallon, long car trips and cross-country flights may be avoided. Instead, more Americans may opt for a staycation; one in which they stay close to home.  Regardless of whether summer travelers venture afar or stay close to home, this travel season is expected to result in a surge in hiring, noted John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.  The leisure and hospitality sector has already added about 150,000 new workers since February, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That is more than double the number added during the same period a year ago.  With companies delaying hiring by asking existing employees to do more, how can workers ensure that vacation plans do not impact job security?  Can working Americans “unplug” while on vacation or should they expect to take “working vacations?”  For job seekers hoping to take advantage of seasonal hiring, where are the best opportunities? 

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