The Southern hospitality industry is a hotbed of bad business practices, a growing problem in a region where hotel-starved locals often lack the resources to take care of themselves.
The hospitality industry in South Carolina, for example, was the second-largest source of state unemployment in 2016, according to a report by the state’s Legislative Audit Commission.
The industry was responsible for almost 1,200 jobs lost, and more than 200,000 people were laid off, according the state agency.
It was also the region’s top employer of part-time workers, with more than 8.5 million people employed, according an Associated Press analysis of data from the South Carolina Department of Labor.
“We’re a low-wage industry, and the South Carolinians have it really tough, and they’re desperate for jobs,” said Steve Smith, CEO of the South Florida hotel group Hotel & Spa, which runs the Boca Raton, Florida, Beach Inn and the Ritz-Carlton hotels.
“So there are a lot of people looking for jobs, and it’s the hospitality industry, not necessarily the hospitality sector itself, that’s the problem.”
The state’s economic impact is especially stark in the hotels, where roughly a third of the state workforce is employed as part-timers.
In South Carolina’s hotels, the number of part time workers who are eligible for unemployment benefits fell by nearly 20 percent from the previous year, according a state report released this month.
The South Carolina Office of the Inspector General said the numbers showed “serious deficiencies” in the state business climate and the economy overall.
The report noted that the hospitality market is “the most dynamic and dynamic segment of the hospitality business” and highlighted how it is the only sector that saw an increase in part-timer job losses.
The state has been grappling with a problem that has been on the rise since 2014, when it enacted a law that required employers with 50 or more workers to hire people on a part-schedule basis.
The law also requires hotels to offer benefits for the part-workers, such as health insurance, food stamps and other social benefits, in lieu of paid vacation.
While the South has been working on implementing a part time requirement for some time, many hotels still are not providing these benefits, and some companies have gone so far as to hire part-and-half workers, the report said.
The legislation also made it illegal to fire a part worker who is paid less than the minimum wage, which some companies are doing.
But the law has not been implemented, and a large majority of hotels still do not provide part- and half workers with any type of compensation, according in the report.
That makes it hard for the government to enforce the law, which was designed to address problems in the hospitality economy.
It’s a problem many businesses are not able to fix, said Joe Rulli, executive director of the State Hotel Association.
“The hospitality industry has been in a downward spiral for a long time,” he said.
“I think it’s pretty clear that they have to do something.”
And some hotels are not doing what they should be doing to address the problem.
Some have closed and relocated or have lost their businesses, while others have been forced to close because they can no longer meet the demand.
In a recent interview, Marriott CEO Michael Smith said he would not consider any of his hotels closing because of the law.
He also noted that he believes that if his hotels were to shut down, other hotels would come in.
“In my mind, it’s an ongoing situation,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday.
“And I don’t think they’ll ever go away, and I don’s this is going to be a long-term solution.”
The South has long been the epicenter of the hotel industry, with the South as the largest market in the country and a top destination for tourism.
The hotel industry employs 1.2 million people and accounts for about one-third of the jobs in the U.S. According to the South’s Legislative Auditor, the hospitality and hospitality services industry employed nearly 735,000 workers in 2016.
The sector was responsible to more than 5.4 million jobs lost and nearly 9 million people were unemployed, according TOI.
While a large part of the unemployment problem is due to the lack of demand in hotels, some hotels have also been struggling with rising hotel occupancy rates and understaffing.
The Southern Tourism Infrastructure and Investment Board estimates that in 2016 alone, there were 8.6 million hotel room nights booked for hotel guests, an increase of about 200,00 since the year prior.
The problem is even worse when it comes to full-time hospitality jobs, which accounted for about 2.3 million of the 1.3 billion hotel room rooms booked in 2016 according to the Southern Tourism Industry Development and Training Institute.
That means, as of 2016, more than 70 percent of the hotels