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There’s no doubt that it’s a challenging time across the nation. While Americans are still grappling to maintain pandemic related health precautions, recent cost in living sparks and recessionary concerns have placed further stress on an already burdened jobs sector. Closer to home, labor shortages in certain industries throughout the Vail area and Rocky Mountain region have hit high alert. Although Colorado’s monthly June unemployment rate fell to just 3.4 %, the lowest since February 2020, local job hunting statistics for the same month found that there were only about two jobs available for each of the roughly 111,800 unemployed Coloradans. This disconnect between employers and staff recruitment, in an economy heavily reliant on tourism, means the demand for cleaners in Colorado is at an all-time peak. Here’s how the sector’s cleaning up a little.
In the town of Vail, where the number of part-time or vacationing residents is equal to the number of permanent residents, there has always been a high demand for cleaning services. Recent COVID-inspired recommendations on the specificity and frequency of cleaning, such as those detailed by The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, incorporate best practice guides for hotels, restaurants, and other attraction and facility operators. These guidelines highlight how essential it is for business and home owners to connect with professional house and commercial cleaning services on an ongoing basis. For those engaging with home cleaners for the first time, websites such as Houzz supply location-based guides to service providers within a defined area, and include customer testimonials. For commercial cleaning services, directories like Yelp offer informative lists.
While some bemoan the new-look labor market where employees can assume greater wage bargaining power, other managers are utilizing this to their advantage by incentivizing their employment positions. Raising the hourly wage or providing one-off recruitment bonuses, such as the recent $5000 payment for Coloradan transit and truck drivers, are ways to attract loyal and conscientious staff. Another incentive, geared towards accommodation operators, is to include board as a condition of hiring. This can be a cost-effective way for employers to lure potential employees and repurpose vacant rooms. For any Coloradan considering capitalizing on demand and forming their own cleaning business start-up, the tax-exempt status of such enterprises can be a bonus. Contact local county or city government to find out if cleaning service start-ups in your jurisdiction could be sales tax exempt.
For businesses struggling to fill vacant cleaning positions, a recruitment agency may be the solution. Alternatively, organizations such as the Mesa County Workforce Center have dedicated services to assist employers to connect with workers. The center is also a useful contact point for workers searching for cleaning employment opportunities in Colorado. Other local organizations or governmental arms may provide customized job training programs that focus on the cleaning industry. Such programs are often geared towards new hires and may include wage offsets for employers.
Colorado’s post pandemic recovery has begun. As the region’s tourist traffic and overall economy improves, the cleaning services sector will need to keep pace with the rise in demand for high standard cleaning and maintenance of all types of premises.