Lifeguard Shortages Place Strain on Public Pools

1/3 of Pools Could Stay Closed This Year Due to Lifeguard Shortages

There’s ANOTHER Nationwide Shortage Gripping The U.S. – Guess What It Is

(RepublicanPress.org) – The country continues experiencing serious setbacks as it attempts to return to normal in the wake of more than two years of COVID-19-related issues. Supply chain issues and the accompanying runaway inflation are hitting Americans in the wallets. Employee shortages have also created challenges as the country reopens, and it’s impacting lifeguards, too.

News outlets reported extensively on lifeguard shortages back in 2021 — however, it seems like public pools are set to face another tough year. In early March, the American Lifeguard Association (ALA) started posting on social media on potential lifeguard shortages this year. By the end of the month, it projected that one-third of the nation’s public pools could shut down or be forced to adjust their hours due to a lack of qualified employees.

Earlier this year, some cities like Phoenix started offering signing bonuses to new lifeguards. In 2021, Milwaukee County announced its decision to increase its starting pay to $15.82 an hour. Unfortunately, the lifeguard shortage has persisted despite the pay increase. On May 10, the ALA announced the launch of its National Lifeguard Referral Program, which comes with a $50 payment for each qualified submission.

The New York Post reported the lifeguard shortage resulted partially from the pandemic and related 2020 cancellation of the J-1 exchange work visas.

In early January, President Joe Biden announced the reinstatement of those visas for periods of up to 36 months for undergraduate and graduate students involved in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research and training. However, it remains unclear if that policy shift will have an impact on the current lifeguard shortage.

Has your hometown experienced swimming pool or beach closures so far this year?

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