Las Vegas (AP) — There are now nearly 500,000 club-based jobs available nationwide, according to the Association of Counties and Urban Development, but not all of them are for golf courses.
And the golf-related job market has become a hot topic in Las Vegas, where the economy is still in recovery mode after nearly a decade of recession.
The state’s unemployment rate of 6.9 percent in December is the lowest in the country and is among the lowest among metro areas, but it is not among the highest.
And some employers say they are struggling to fill positions, citing low unemployment rates, an increasing demand for full-time positions and a lack of available jobs.
In the first four months of the year, the state had 8.3 million job openings, according, with some counties reporting more than 5 million.
The Las Vegas clubs that are hiring include golf courses, bars and restaurants, hotels, entertainment and recreation venues and the country clubs, according the Association for Counties.
And it’s not just the golf course companies that are making money.
Many of them also are seeking golf-playing staff members, a big draw for golf course operators.
Las Vegas golf course operator Kevin Bouchard says the demand for his business is driven by a booming economy, which includes a resurgence in golfing in the United States and overseas.
And he says golf-courses have become a big part of that economic growth, especially in recent years.
“The golf course has been an incredibly valuable asset for the community, a critical component of our tourism and economy,” Bouchar said.
“Golf courses are a critical part of our community and that’s why we’re really thrilled to have them in our communities.”
Las Vegas has a population of more than 15 million people, and most of the country’s population centers have a large golf course.
The majority of the clubs are located in the Las Vegas Valley, with the resort towns of Sunrise, Summerlin, Paradise, Carson City, Mesquite and Buford all home to some of the largest and most popular.
About 75 percent of Las Vegas residents play golf.
About 60 percent of the golf courses in the Valley are golf courses operated by Country Club America.
Country Club American CEO David Bouchart says he’s seen a strong demand for golf staff members in Las.casinos, and he’s looking to attract more.
“I’ve seen a huge uptick in demand from golfers, particularly in the last several years,” Boutard said.
The country club industry, which is a major part of the Las Vegans economy, has expanded dramatically in recent decades, according Bouchaard.
But he says the current boom has left some clubs with limited capacity and staffing levels.
“Some of the most vibrant clubs that have thrived in the past 20 years are the ones that have struggled,” Bouthard said, noting that golf courses were among the few places where players could go out and play for a full day without paying for food.
“They’re just not able to accommodate a full-day schedule like that.”
Bouchards goal is to recruit golfers to the clubs, and to build a strong golf industry that has an impact on the local economy.
He has seen that impact in Sunrise, which has been struggling financially and has struggled to recruit people to fill jobs at golf courses and clubs.
But Bouchan says he believes the golf industry has made strides, and the unemployment rate in Las Vegas Country Club is down from 6.1 percent in 2012.
“Our unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest rate in the nation,” Broughard said in an interview with the Associated Press.
He said golf courses are the biggest draw for people who want to work in the industry.
“The golf clubs are a huge part of Las Vegaians economy and are the largest employer in our community,” he said.
He says it’s a big change from when golf courses used to have huge recruiting quotas.
“If you’re a golf club, you’re in demand, so they’re going to recruit you,” Boughard said about hiring more golfers.
Country club operators in the U.S. are not required to offer full-ride salaries to golfers but they must be paid for at least 30 hours of work per week.
And Bouchare said they are looking to hire more full-timers to fill vacancies.
“We’re looking to recruit more golf course employees,” he told the AP.
He expects some clubs to hire golfers who have worked at golf course facilities for at-large employment or full-season work.
Bouchas goal is not to attract the top talent in the golf business.
“That’s not our mission,” Baughard said of his goal.
“This is about bringing people in and growing the business.”
Boughards vision is to bring the golf community together, he said, by opening more golf