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by SixFigureStart | April 14, 2009


Your friends from across the Atlantic are welcome to visit (and spend money) in 2009, but tell them to stay home if they think they're gonna work here and bring back wads of cash.

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>