HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – To meet the demand of staffing shortages, hospitals are recruiting travel nurses. Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris designated the nursing shortage as Alabama’s most urgent need.

Travel nurses are usually paid more than staff nurses, which could be why we are seeing more people take those opportunities.

To meet demand, Governor Kay Ivey has put $12.3 million dollars in federal funds toward bringing qualified travel nurses to work temporarily in Alabama hospitals.

North Alabama native Sherry Tapia started her first travel nurse assignment 18 months ago, just before the pandemic started.

“I had quit my floor nurse job to take a job in another state, then the pandemic hit, and those jobs were canceled. A friend of mine suggested I take the travel nurse job that way I could make some money and not be sitting at home during this entire pandemic,” says Sherry Tapia.

Tapia says she plans to keep traveling even after the pandemic, partially because of the increase in pay.

“Alabama is one of the worst paying states as far as nurses go… that’s just not fair,” says Tapia.

Tapia says while the purpose of hiring travel nurses is to fill empty positions and help with staffing, sometimes there is pushback from staff nurses over the income disparity for the same workload.

“We do get that ‘you make so much more money than I do.’ But it’s a choice. You chose to take this job and that’s what they offered you. They said ‘this is what you’re going to make,’ and you said ‘I will take that and I will work here.’ At any time people can leave. They can go. They can do the travel nursing,” says Tapia.

Tapia believes Alabama hospitals are going to have to pay more for there to be an incentive to stay in the state. She says travel nurses are only a temporary fix to current staffing shortages.

“Bring in travel nurses, get us through this pandemic and then they can go their way and try to get some long-term nurses, let’s try to increase that pay and make us comparable with other states in the country,” says Tapia.

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-900 plane takes off from Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

CHICAGO, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) on Tuesday said it would hire 1,500 new flight attendants in anticipation of an increase in demand for air travel next summer.

The announcement comes as many airlines struggle to keep up with a recovery in air travel and are grappling with staff shortages.

Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) last week said it would run fewer flights through the end of the year as a result of a staffing crunch, which disrupted its operations this summer and led to flight delays and cancellations. read more

Delta Air, too, had to cancel about 100 flights in April due to staff shortages. But a company spokesperson said the airline’s operations since have been relatively smooth.

In July, the carrier’s average daily departures totaled 4,377 compared with 2,009 in April.

Including the 1,500 flight attendants hired in early 2020 before the pandemic, Delta aims to have 3,000 new flight attendants to support operations next summer. It is also hiring 1,200 pilots.

“The need here is to support future flying,” the spokesperson said.

Since May, Delta Air has made full vaccination a condition of employment for new hires. On Tuesday, it reiterated that policy, saying all new hires, including current Delta employees who have been accepted into the training program for flight attendants, must be fully vaccinated before their training start date.

Last week, the company said employees who choose not to be vaccinated will have to pay $200 extra per month for their company-sponsored healthcare plan. read more

Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh
Editing by Peter Graff and Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employment growth likely pulled back in August after gaining nearly 2 million jobs in the past two months as soaring COVID-19 cases reduced demand for travel and entertainment, but the pace was probably enough to sustain the economic expansion.

FILE PHOTO: A sign advertising job openings is seen while people walk into the store in New York City, New York, U.S., August 6, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday would come as economists have been sharply marking down their gross domestic product estimates for the third quarter. Reasons cited include the resurgence in infections, driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and relentless shortages of raw materials, which are depressing automobile sales and restocking.

Surging COVID-19 cases could also have kept some unemployed people home, frustrating efforts by employers to boost hiring.

“The Delta variant is like a sandstorm in an otherwise sunny economy,” said Sung Won Sohn, a finance and economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “If it weren’t for that, employment in August would have been even higher.”

According to a Reuters survey of economists nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 750,000 jobs last month. The economy created 1.881 million jobs in June and July. Should job growth in August meet expectations, that would leave the level of employment about 5 million jobs below its peak in February 2020.

But the forecast is highly uncertain, with estimates ranging from 375,000 to 1.027 million.

High frequency indicators have suggested a softening in demand for air travel, hotel accommodation and in-person dining, which some economists expect led to a moderation in leisure and hospitality job growth.

Reports this week showed a measure of factory employment contracting and private payrolls undershooting expectations. But hiring by small businesses accelerated and consumers’ views of the labor market remained fairly upbeat.

Over the last several years, including in 2020, the initial August payrolls print has undershot expectations and been slower than the three-month average job growth through July.

“COVID effects may make this comparison to the trend less useful, however, August payrolls have been revised higher with the subsequent two jobs reports in 11 of the last 12 years, including last year,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economic advisor at Brean Capital in New York.

Friday’s report will be crucial for financial markets as investors try to gauge the timing of the Federal Reserve’s announcement on when it will start scaling back its massive monthly bond buying program.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell last week affirmed the ongoing economic recovery, but offered no signal on when the U.S. central bank plans to cut its asset purchases beyond saying it could be “this year.”

Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. Macro Strategist at TD Securities in New York, who is forecasting a 400,000 rise in payrolls in August, does not believe this would be weak enough for the Fed to back away from their “this year” signal.

“But it would probably increase the probability of a

Two healthcare staffing agencies we spoke with said Texas is a hotspot for travel nurse job openings as hospitals try to fill thousands of open positions statewide.

TEXAS, USA — COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging in Texas, and hospitals are in need of more nurses. We spoke with the leaders of two different health care staffing companies to get an inside look at what they are seeing right now.

“Texas is a hotbed. The demand is real,” said John Maaske, the CEO of Triage Staffing. “We’ve seen more jobs come up in Texas than we have any other state. Texas isn’t necessarily leading the nation as a percentage of increases, but it is in terms of total job volume.”

John Maaske said in the past month, Texas has posted more travel nurse jobs than anywhere else in the country.

“We saw 3,200 new jobs come up in Texas just related to COVID demand. 3,200 jobs. And that just was last month,” said Maaske. “In August, 1,800 jobs have already come up and we’re only six days into the month.”

We also spoke with the CEO of another medical staffing company called BluePipes, who said he has seen the number of job postings for travel nurses in Texas double since January 2021. And Austin has seen an even bigger increase than the statewide average.

“So we have had about a 150% increase in the number of jobs posted on our platform from January to now in Austin,” shared Kyle Schmidt, the co-founder and CEO of Blue Pipes.

Other states are also facing nursing shortages, so hospitals are having to pay more to get nurses to work for them. Kyle Schmidt told KVUE that right now in Texas, the highest-paying travel nurse jobs he has seen are around $120 an hour. But he said some places are still just offering the more average pay of $35 to $40 an hour.

“I would say that a plurality of the jobs are between, say, $55 and $80 per hour, which is quite lucrative for registered nurses,” said Schmidt. “Although, I will say, the job that they’re undertaking is quite a difficult task currently.”

“We’ve seen an increase in pay upwards of 30% to 50% of where it was just three months ago, as COVID demand has increased,” added Maaske.

We reached out to Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health, and St. David’s healthcare to see how they are doing with staffing and if they are offering higher pay incentives.

They sent KVUE the following joint statement:

“Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare continue to monitor the increase in COVID-19 cases and execute plans to ensure hospitals have the staff and resources they need to care for our community. 

Given the recent surge in hospitalizations affecting facilities in Central Texas and throughout the state—and the statewide nursing shortage—all three healthcare systems are sourcing staff using multiple resources, increasing shifts, paying critical staffing bonuses and redeploying non-nursing

Travel Insurance Market

SHERIDAN, WY, USA, August 25, 2021 / — According to IMARC Group’s latest report, titled “Travel Insurance Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-2026,” the global travel insurance market reached a value of US$ 21.5 Billion in 2020. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% during 2021-2026.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis takes over the world, we are continuously tracking the changes in the markets, as well as the purchase behaviors of the consumers globally–our estimates about the latest market trends and forecast values after considering the impact of this pandemic. These observations will be integrated into the report.

Request for a free sample copy of this report:

Travel insurance is a type of insurance that protects tourists from financial risks by covering various expenses and losses during international or domestic travels. It provides cover in case of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, baggage loss, personal property damage, and loss of tickets and passport. It also offers 24/7 emergency services in case of loss of documents and any monetary assistance. Nowadays, travel insurance also supports customization as per the geographical location and requirement of the insured customer.

Market Trends and Drivers:

The global travel insurance market is primarily driven by a significant rise in corporate trips. Travel insurance is distributed via insurance aggregators, banks, and insurance brokers, who provide different plans that cover costs and losses depending on the coverage policy of the insured. The rapid growth of the travel and tourism industry, on account of the increasing disposable incomes of consumers and the ease of booking holiday packages online, is also positively impacting the market growth. They are easily accessible via online sites, including direct airline websites and online travel agencies. Moreover, several technological developments, such as the integration application program interface (API), artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics, have enabled travel insurance companies to create personalized user experiences. Furthermore, governments across various countries have necessitated insurance documents in visa applications to mitigate travel risks.

Travel Insurance Market 2021-2026 Competitive Analysis and Segmentation:

Competitive Landscape With Key Players:

The competitive landscape of the travel insurance market has been studied in the report with the detailed profiles of the key players operating in the market.

Some of these key players include:

Allianz SE

Insure & Go Insurance Services (Mapfre S.A.)

Generali Group

American Express Company

Seven Corners Inc.

American International Group

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company

Zurich Insurance Group AG


Travel Insured International Inc. (Crum & Forster)

USI Affinity (USI Insurance Services)

Key Market Segmentation:

The report has segmented the global travel insurance market on the basis of insurance type, coverage, distribution channel, end user and region.

Breakup by Insurance Type:

Single-Trip Travel Insurance

Annual Multi-Trip Insurance

Long-Stay Travel Insurance

Breakup by Coverage:

Medical Expenses

Trip Cancellation

Trip Delay

Property Damage


Breakup by Distribution Channel:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – “Checking-in” on the hotel industry: Nightly stays are quickly booking up again, and the need for staff is higher than ever. The industry took a huge hit this time last year with the coronavirus outbreak forcing shutdowns and thousands of layoffs.

In sunny tourist destinations such as Arizona, statewide hotel occupancy is at 61.5% for the first half of the year (January-June 2021), which is 15% below the same time period in 2019. The Arizona Office of Tourism also reports that overall hotel occupancy in June 2021 was 65%, which was nearly equal to June 2019 (67%). 

“About 90% of travelers say they have a trip planned in the next six months,” said Becky Blaine, deputy director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “Looking forward to fall and convention bookings, we see that a bunch of the meetings and conventions that have been postponed, moved into the fall, and so we really expect to start to see that business traveler come back as well.”


The tourism and hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit. Even with growing demand for vacations, they’re still down 33,500 jobs statewide. 

“We have a workforce issue, a lot of people that were displaced during the pandemic have either chosen to switch industries, or just not come back,” said Blaine. “We’ve really had to work to attract new workers to the hospitality industry that maybe never considered tourism as a career.”

The Arizona Office of Tourism reports that overall hotel occupancy in June 2021 was 65% which was nearly equal to June 2019 (67%) (Stephanie Bennett/Fox News).

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess said it noticed a real turning point in the spring, that’s when the vaccine was made available to everyone and travel restrictions started to loosen. It hosted a large job fair at the end of July to try and hire staff fast. 

“We actually started with 1,200 employees last year, went down to 28, basically overnight. A lot of people went on furlough, so as soon as we could, even starting last summer we started inviting everyone back,” said Christie Martinez, employee relations and retention manager at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.


Around 60 people arrived in the first two hours of the job fair. They even made a few offers on the spot. 

“We actually do have 150 hourly positions open, so some are full time, part time, casual, you name it we’ve got it available. We also have about 20 leadership roles available,” said Martinez. “We are hiring for servers, assistant bartenders, we also have a lot of administrative assistant roles, we’ve got some in our sales department, conference services, spa front desk and reservations.”

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess held a ‘Meet the Team’ mixer in late July to help hire

DENVER (KDVR) — Travel looks nothing like it did at this time last year, as millions across the nation are eager to get back on planes and road trip to attractions across the state.

The travel industry is still struggling to adjust to the renewed demand.

Skyler McKinley of AAA of Colorado said travelers should be ready to be flexible as the travel industry plays catch up.

“For the rest of the summer, it’s more touch and go at the airlines than it was in 2019, because they have to hire everybody back,” McKinley said.

Pilots must be re-certified before they return to work. FAA regulations require those working to have adequate downtime.

Rental cars may not be as readily available in some cities.

“Most of the rental car fleets are still experiencing problems with their fleet size. They sold a lot of their fleets off, demand came back and they need to rebuy their cars, and they can’t do that fast enough” McKinley said.

The Problem Solvers found apps like Turo can help you find a rental car in the Denver metro at a reasonable rate.

If you’re staying in one area, it’s always a good idea to consider public transportation as well.

Whether booking a car or an airline ticket, travel experts say now is the time to do it if you want to travel this fall or even during the holidays, because prices are likely to increase before then.

Unused carts lined up at Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport on July 7.[NEWS1

Unused carts lined up at Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport on July 7.[NEWS1

Neither airlines nor tour companies are counting on the Saipan travel bubble.
While they are welcoming the government’s first arrangement for limited quarantine-free international vacations, they say the program agreed to is just too complicated for most travelers.  
The adoption of Level 4 social distancing restrictions in the greater Seoul area, which started Monday, has not helped matters.
A travel bubble is an agreement between two or more countries or regions to allow people to travel between them without having to quarantine upon arrival at the destination and upon return.
Korea and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where Saipan is situated, signed a travel bubble agreement for vaccinated visitors on June 30. The agreement is set to go into effect in late July or early August, allowing travelers to visit the U.S. island 4.5 hours by air from Incheon without having to quarantine.    
“We didn’t expect the travel bubble to dramatically increase demand for travel because there are too many restrictions,” said Jeong Gi-yun, a spokesperson for Hana Tour, the largest travel company in Korea. “All travelers have to be vaccinated, and they have to take PCR tests at least three times.”
The first test, done in Korea before departure, has to be translated into English. Jeong said that this alone costs around 200,000 won ($175).  
Yook Hyun-woo, general manager at Mode Tour, agreed that the “restrictions are too tight.”
He added that Level 4 social distancing “does not seem to have a direct impact on the travel industry, but we are concerned that quarantine restrictions for the next travel bubble agreements could be tough if they are signed in the time of the stricter quarantine measures.”
At the same time, the restrictions could also assure travelers that they can travel abroad safely, Yook added.  
Airlines say they welcome travel bubble because it could generally raise demand for travel, but they do not see the program as being very profitable.  
“A lot of plane tickets sold via a travel company are offered at a bargain price,” said Yang Chang-sup, a spokesperson from Korean Air Lines. “Airlines are generally able to generate more profit from individual tourists instead of group tourists because we divide the profit with the travel company when group tourists purchase tickets through a travel company.”
Under the Saipan travel bubble, only group tours via a travel company are allowed.  
Yang added that at this point boosting the general demand for travel is more important than who gets a bigger share of the profit.  
Air Busan, which plans to offer a flight to Guam under a travel bubble in September, said non-vaccinated young children limit demand for group travel.  
“Saipan and Guam are destinations people often go as families,” said Park Jin-woo, a spokesperson for Air Busan. “But with children not yet vaccinated, demand for the travel bubble to these destinations cannot yet be high.”
“Travel bubbles are symbolic in the recovery

Amid widespread staffing shortages and national reports indicating the hotel industry is still struggling through the coronavirus pandemic, several hotel managers in Astoria say the tourism season started early in 2021 and looks to be on track for a record year driven by pent-up demand to travel.

Hotel Elliott is one example. The 32-room historic hotel has seen record visitation every month since March, said John C. Nelson, the general manager. He expects the trend to continue into the summer.

“Demand is very strong right now … and it’s never been this strong before,” Nelson said. “I don’t think the hotel is unique with this business. I think everyone who can be open and staff … I think they’ve been having records, too.”

Like most other sectors of the hospitality industry, hotels and motels suffered a major economic hit due to the pandemic. A report released by the American Hotel and Lodging Association showed that more than 900 hotels in Oregon were forced to foreclose or close in the first six months of the pandemic, while more than 11,500 jobs in the industry were lost in that same time period.

“A lot of people don’t realize, but the hotel industry and the lodging industry was one of the earliest hit by the pandemic because of the shutdown of travel, and the restriction on gathering sizes,” said Greg Astley, director of government affairs for the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Although (hotels) weren’t shut down specifically, like the restaurant industry, they still suffered greatly because of those restrictions and limitations.”

Even as COVID-19 restrictions lift, the national hotel industry continues to hurt. A recent report from American Hotel and Lodging Association found that 21 of the top 25 hotel markets are in a depression or recession cycle, and revenue per available room in urban hotel markets is down 52% from May 2019 to this May.

In contrast, resort locations like coastal Oregon are one of the few areas where the hotel industry has started to stabilize and recover. The revenue per available room was down just 1% from May 2019 to this May.


“Our market is leisure travel. There is a little bit of business travel here, but it’s mostly leisure,” Nelson said. “Leisure travel is what’s driving everything as far as travel (right now). People are not traveling for work. Heck, they aren’t even leaving their house for work.”

Several local hoteliers say the boost of visitors to Astoria this year began in March, about two months earlier than the traditional peak season for tourists.

Atomic Motel manager Katie Richard said her 29-room motel has been “almost full every day since March,” while Rose River Inn owner Pam Armstrong reported her bed-and-breakfast’s “best April in 16 years.”

The Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa has consistently finished above its 2019 numbers throughout the spring and summer season, said general manager Linh DePledge.

“I think you’ll see that in other places, too. I’ve talked to different general managers around the coastal


Air travel has picked up again but the airline industry is struggling to keep up.

Pilots are in demand.

American Airlines is canceling almost 1,000 flights because of the shortage.

Katie Clagg is a flight instructor at Paragon Flight in Fort Myers. The academy, at Page Field, says it’s on pace for a record year in training students.

“It’s continuing to get busier and busier, I’ll tell you that,” said Katie Clagg, Paragon Flight instructor.

The fascination for flight has Paragon student Matthew Spychalski considering a career as an airline pilot.

“Ever since I was a kid I always found myself looking at airplanes flying around and you know guessing what kind of airplane it was, what airline, where it’s going,” Spychalski said.

The American Airlines flights canceled run through mid-July.

“Everyone needs to travel. I mean, there’s never going to be a time when we don’t need pilots,” said Cassie Thompson-Pride, also a Paragon Flight student.

Thompson-Pride, 18, is making it her mission to fly for the airlines by the time she’s 21.

“We need a lot of pilots, so the more we have the better,” Thompson-Pride said. “They’re getting trained at a great facility.”

Soon she and her fellow students will be cleared for take-off.

Paragon flight is expanding.

The academy is building a new maintenance facility and an 8,000 square-foot learning center.

It’s slated to be done next year.