Where the jobs are: 'Hospitality is on the upswing'

Where the jobs are: 'Hospitality is on the upswing'

EUGENE, Ore. -- The results of a survey by the Oregon Employment Department are out, and it turns out the leisure and hospitality industry is expected to be the largest new employer this year.

In Eugene, potential in the job market is taking shape in the heart of downtown at the new Inn at the 5th, scheduled for completion in February.  
 
“Hospitality is on the upswing,” said Inn at the 5th general manager Erik Cole in the showroom suite at the hotel. “They had some tough time in 2009.”
 
But this year, Cole said his company is putting the economic downturn behind them.
 
And the Inn at the 5th isn’t alone. They’re part of a trend—the comeback of the hospitality industry as the top growth market for hiring in the state compared to othe employers.
 
The survey showed that 46 percent of companies in the hospitality and leisure industry in Oregon plan to hire new employees in the next six months, compared to 44 percent in natural resouces and mining and 40 percent in health care.
 
Cole said the hospitality industry is a “catayst” for the rest of the economy.
 
“Once the hospitality industry is kick-started again, it builds momentum to bring people in town and bring people to travel—airlines, car rentals and everything else,” he said.
 
At Travel Lane County in Eugene, spokeswoman Lisa Lawton said she knows why the hospitality industry, including leisure and travel, is doing better than others.
 
“There’s a lof of events—sporting events and conferences that come into the area that are not really affected by the economy,” said Lawton at her office in downtown Eugene. “People are still meeting, still gathering and still competing at a number of sporting events. And that really boads well for out industry.”
 
And when people are coming to town for an event, she said they’re also spending money.
 
“When visitors come to the area, when delegates come to the area, they created a demand for products and services,” she added.