Las Vegas Casinos Hiring as 100% Capacity Draws Near
As the state of Nevada prepares to reach 100% capacity within businesses, Las Vegas casinos are starting to hire more employees in preparation.
Just a short time ago, Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada reported that the state was preparing to reopen everything at 100% capacity. The state has set a target date of June 1 for the full reopening. The way the state plans to get to that point is with vaccinations, mask wearing, and continued social distancing. This is a big deal for casinos as they have been operating at much lower percentages and revenues are not what they used to be. To get ready for the 100% capacity levels, many casino resorts in Las Vegas are starting a hiring session. They want to be fully prepared to handle the influx of traffic in the near feature.
Difficult Time in Finding Employees
As part of the hiring process, casino operators are finding it difficult to locate employees. Many properties wanted to hire back former employees, but these individuals have moved on as they needed to work to get by. Another problem is finding people who are qualified for certain positions, such as table dealers or supervisors.
For MGM Resorts, the company is the largest employer in the state, and they own a good portion of casinos in Las Vegas. The company was able to bring back the majority of workers who were furloughed in 2020. However, they do need to hire more people and were unable to get back some of their former employees due to the fact that they found another job amidst the pandemic.
Many people could not deal with the lesser hours or closures from the pandemic. Some people moved on to new jobs so that they did not have to play the waiting game as to when they would get back to work or the possibility of being furloughed again in the future.
At the end of last year, MGM had 42,000 employees. That 40% less than the 70,000 individuals they had on the payroll before the pandemic. It may be tough to reach that total again as people have moved on, even out of state, to find work.
Across the United States, businesses are struggling to have enough employees to function. Even small businesses are having difficulty finding people who want to work. There are several elements to the workforce issues. First, there is the continued health concerns. People who do not have to work are not doing so because they still fear contracting the coronavirus.
Secondly, there are the stimulus payments. The US government gave each individual in the country a stimulus payment along with children. For many people, the stimulus money was a reason to quit working or just not show up for a shift from time to time.
Higher unemployment compensation is another factor. People are filing for unemployment during the pandemic and the government is providing more at this time by way of payments, so people are living off that money instead of working.
Bring Back Union Workers
There are apparently unionized workers who have not been brought back on the job as of yet in Las Vegas. The local Culinary Workers Union has stated there are gaming industry workers who are not employed right now. According to spokesperson Bethany Kahn, only around 50% of the 60,000 employees in the union have been called back.
Kahn pointed out that casinos that are unionized should start to call back employees who were laid off due to COVID-19 now that tourism levels are increasing. Staff shortages are never a good thing, and the employees are ready to get back to work.
It will be interesting to see if the casinos are able to find enough employees to cover all their needs, especially if the venues are allowed to go back to 100% capacity by June, which is only a few weeks away.