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Intercontinental Hotels Group's lodging stable includes Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites. File

The tightening labor market is costing the region more than 600 jobs.

InterContinental Hotels Group notified workers this week that it is closing its North Charleston call center later this year because of “staffing challenges,” spokesman Neil Hirsch said Thursday.

“We’ve seen a high level of turnover, so that impacts the performance of the center,” he said.

The closing is scheduled for November, and about 630 employees are affected.

The task of handling thousands of inbound calls a day from hotel guests will be transferred to a third-party customer service provider, IHG said.

"We recognize that any decision that impacts our employees’ lives is difficult, which is the reason we are committed to treating our people with dignity, fairness and respect through this process. ... While this is a difficult decision to make, it is in the best interest of IHG, our hotels and our owners," the company said in a written statement.

The IHG call center is in Festival Centre at Ashley Phosphate and Dorchester roads. The reservations hub opened in 1997 with 200 employees.

IHG is a British hospitality giant that owns or manages about 5,400 hotels with nearly 800,000 rooms around the world. Its lodging brands include Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites.

The company's decision to close the local call center came as many employers are struggling to fill openings amid a shrinking labor pool and an economy that continues to expand.

In April, the jobless rate for the Charleston region dropped to 2.3 percent, a 20-year low, according to the latest figures. That signals a labor market that has grown "exceptionally tight," Rick Kaglic, a Charlotte-based economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, said last month.

The May jobs report for the state and region is due out Friday.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott