Pandemic related labor shortages are nothing new.

At this point, we've been hearing about labor shortages around the country for a couple of years. But a lot of folks assumed that as things became more "normal", those labor shortages across the board, would just kind of sort themselves out. Especially since all the extra stimulus payments and unemployment benefits are long gone.

But here we are, two years into the pandemic, and businesses are talking about how they're still trying to find employees. Short-sighted business owners think no one wants to work, and that people are lazy. But unemployment is at a record low. It turns out these folks may just not want the job you're offering. Or, they're quitting in droves.

Hospitality and food service are being hit the hardest.

In the early days of the pandemic, lots of hospitality and foodservice workers were left out in the cold because many of those businesses were shut down for extended periods. When things opened back up, a lot of those same folks made the decision not to come back to these jobs for all the reasons you hear about online and on TV.

Rude customers, lack of decent pay, long hours, and just the overall feeling that the job they do feels thankless after all these years. I couldn't imagine still being in food service. I've been out now for several years, but it's a line of work that still gives me pangs of PTSD. A busy kitchen isn't really for the faint of heart.

Burnout leads to change.

According to WGME, over 6% of the foodservice workforce isn't coming back, and for that matter, there are tons of fresh quitters every week, who've simply had enough of the hectic lifestyle. Same for hotel employees. A lot of these folks have moved on to what they feel are better jobs.

This summer as tourist season heats up, it'll be interesting to see how both these crucial industries work it out. But with folks leaving these jobs at twice the rate of all others combined, it's something to be worried about.


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