Nearly 2 million people screened at airports on Memorial Day as businesses prepare for a busy summer

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Air traffic in the US hit its highest level since the pandemic began over Memorial Day weekend with nearly 2 million people screened at airport security on Monday.

Transportation Security Administration data recorded that more than 1.9 million people passed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports on Memorial Day — more than 400 percent more than last year, when just 353,261 people passed through U.S. airports on the federal holiday.

Transportation Security Administration data recorded Monday that more than 1.9 million people went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports

Transportation Security Administration data recorded Monday that more than 1.9 million people went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports

Travelers queue at Los Angeles International Airport Friday to begin Memorial Day Weekend, which saw a massive increase in passenger numbers compared to 2020

Travelers queue at Los Angeles International Airport Friday to begin Memorial Day Weekend, which saw a massive increase in passenger numbers compared to 2020

Travelers check in for their flights at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday for the first holiday weekend since the easing of coronavirus pandemic restrictions

Travelers check in for their flights at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday for the first holiday weekend since the easing of coronavirus pandemic restrictions

The weekend saw an impressive increase in travel as COVID infections and deaths continued to fall. With 1,959,593 travelers registered, Friday was the busiest travel day at airports since the start of the pandemic last year.

On Monday – Memorial Day – the US reported a record low, 5,735 cases of COVID-19, the lowest figure since March 21, 2020.

Currently, there are an estimated 52 cases per million people, which is a 55 percent drop from the 117 per million reported three weeks ago, and a number not seen since March 20 last year, according to the report. Our world in data.

As the number of people traveling soars, the 2021 figures were well below the 2019 Memorial Day figures, which saw nearly 2.5 million travelers before the coronavirus pandemic swept the country.

Friday also saw a 499 percent increase in travelers at U.S. airports from the same time last year, TSA figures show, and Saturday saw a 497 percent increase.

The busy travel weekend was good for airlines — including American and United — whose shares rose about 3 percent in morning trading Tuesday, CNBC.com reported.

Budget airlines Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit also rose more than 3 percent each, CNBC.com reported.

On Monday - Memorial Da, - the US reported a record low, 5,735 infections from COVID-19, the lowest figure since March 21, 2020

On Monday – Memorial Da, – the US reported a record low, 5,735 infections from COVID-19, the lowest figure since March 21, 2020

Christina Ranuro, who runs the White Sands Resorts and Spa in Point Pleasant Beach, (pictured) says the hotel is having staff issues this year

Christina Ranuro, who runs the White Sands Resorts and Spa in Point Pleasant Beach, (pictured) says the hotel is having staff issues this year

People lie on the beach and enjoy the sun at Coney Island in New York City on Memorial Day

People lie on the beach and enjoy the sun at Coney Island in New York City on Memorial Day

A maskless crowd makes its way through the Coney Island boardwalk on Memorial Day

A maskless crowd makes its way through the Coney Island boardwalk on Memorial Day

Earlier this month, AAA Officials predicted that more than 37 million Americans would hit the road and travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend, a 60 percent increase from last year but 13 percent less than the number of people who traveled in 2019.

The organization predicted that more than nine in 10 of all Americans who decided to travel for Memorial Day would do so by car, although gasoline prices have soared to their highest levels since the summer of 2019.

GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan tweeted on Sunday that the demand for gasoline increased by almost 7 percent during the week and that the demand was 9.6 percent higher than the average for the past four Sundays.

Just two days earlier, he reported demand broke a new record, hitting a “new post-COVID high,” and last week said demand “roared back,” which, he argued, pushed gas prices up to the highest point level in years.

Gas prices rose above $3 a gallon nationwide for the first time in seven years, FOX Business reported, and as of May 31, the average price of gas nationwide was $3.04 a gallon, according to AAA.

As the number of trips increases, many businesses across the country are struggling to meet projected demand in anticipation of a bustling summer season.

Local businesses in Jersey Shore are hopeful for the first summer season after the pandemic.

Christina Ranuro, who runs the White Sands Resorts and Spa in Point Pleasant Beach, told CBS This Morning that she normally hires 150 seasonal workers to work at the resort and restaurant, but this year it is having staffing issues.

“We actually only have 1/3 of what we normally assume,” she told CBS. “We’re really, really short-sighted.”

Being short on staff, she has been forced to work overtime as the hotel continues to run “help wanted” ads, even raising the starting salary from $12 an hour to $15 an hour.

This reflects a larger nationwide trend of companies desperately looking for workers as the country is slowly starting to return to pre-pandemic levels.

The challenge of getting people back to work is that many who try to get back to work still struggle with childcare, foreign students struggle to get work visas and seasonal work doesn’t pay as well as unemployment benefits, CBS reported.

“We have an unprecedented workforce crisis right now,” Michelle Sikekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, told CBS. “They pull out all the stops, have sign-up bonuses, we have free food, free entertainment, lots of incentives.”

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