In a recession-related ripple effect, the shaky economic picture here is foiling the plans of ambitious men and women who live in Europe but labor here for several months a year to live off our usually free-spending tourists. The Wall Street Journal today reported on the beach community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and neighboring Dewey, both of which are expecting a solid summer 2009. (Indeed, the USTA's Traveler Sentiment Index, which measures traveler intentions, is up 12 points since October 2008.) But hospitality-based positions in the area, which usually go to visitors on seasonal work visas, are being snapped up by employment-starved local residents instead. So the foreign worker ranks -- usually 2,000 or so -- will be much thinner this time, down by at least 25%. Similar scenarios are expected in surf-and-sand towns all over the East Coast, which attract a larger crowd of summer workers from overseas than other sections of the country.
The development mirrors a semi-official pushback initiated at the federal level: Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department headed off the incoming wave of workers by advising larger employers to limit the number of J-1 visa candidates they sponsored.
--Posted by Todd Obolsky, Vault News & Commentary>
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