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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are itching to put pandemic life behind them, but many of the necessary ingredients for a summer of carefree fun — everything from neighborhood pools to car rentals — still aren't fully available.

The big picture: Labor shortages, scrambled supply chains and simple logistics are all making it harder for a whole range of businesses to meet post-pandemic demand, and that’s making “hot vax summer” a little harder to pull off.

Where it stands: A little vacation after a year stuck at home seems like a simple enough indulgence, but the travel industry is still facing some significant hurdles.

  • Airlines: "It's not like pilots can just flip a switch. And they throw the keys at us and we come back to work, right?" Air Lines Pilot Association President Joe DePete said on the Axios Re:Cap podcast. "There's a lot involved in that. There are security aspects, there are training aspects, there are medical aspects."
  • Rental cars: Rental companies sold off most of their fleets during the pandemic due to a lack of demand. And now a global chip shortage is squeezing the supply of new cars, making it hard for rental agencies to restock as demand increases.
  • Not to mention, everything’s already booked: Hotels, campsites and Airbnb rentals are all hard to come by, especially in the most popular destinations.

Even staycations are subject to some of the same challenges.

  • Live entertainment: Many smaller venues didn't survive the pandemic, and mounting a stage production or a tour for a band is hard work. "Our industry can't just reopen on a week or two weeks notice, we need three to six months," said Dayna Frank, CEO of the historic First Avenue venue in Minneapolis on the Axios Re:Cap podcast last week.
  • Restaurants say they’re having a hard time filling open jobs, although the hospitality sector added more jobs than any other part of the economy last month — 292,000, about two-thirds of which were in "food and drinking places."
  • Pools in many parts of the country are having a hard time hiring lifeguards, and are either limiting their hours or keeping some locations closed as a result.

Yes, but: Post-pandemic job turnover also has many higher-stakes implications, including for child care and health care.

  • "Nurses and dental hygienists, they don't necessarily stay in the industry all that long ... I think we will also have some supply constraints potentially in that industry," said Martin Baily, an economist at the Brookings Institution.

The bottom line: "With people switching occupations, jobs being in different geographic places, and people needing to learn to work with technology in new ways — all of this is going to create a lot of churn and disruption in the near-term, meaning the next year or two or three," said Susan Lund, a leading partner for the McKinsey Global Institute.

Go deeper

Job market optimism among Americans hits 21-year high

Data: The Conference Board; Chart: Axios Visuals

American workers are increasingly optimistic about their options.

Why it matters: Employers are scrambling to find workers as demand for goods and services has been booming.

2 wildfires ravage Northern California homes as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Team USA's Ryan Crouser competing on Thursday in the men's Olympic shot put final in Tokyo, which he won. Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images

🥇: Ryan Crouser breaks his own Olympic shot put record to win gold for U.S.

🏐: U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

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