Labor shortage impacts hospitality, retail, finance industries

Escrito el 15 May 2021
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As many industries open back up during the pandemic, a staffing shortage is hitting many businesses hard.

The hospitality industry is feeling a labor crunch. So are a few other industries. Restaurants, hotels, retail, banking--many of them face a worker shortage even though those industries are now recovering from the pandemic.

At Night Light Nails in Wallingford, business is slow and employees aren’t coming into work.

“We only have two to three people working and the rest of my employees, they are on call or they don’t want to go to work because I believe they have unemployment (insurance) until September,” said owner Van Nguyen.

More businesses said they face a labor shortage. Some said the extended unemployment benefits are a big factor.

The General Manager of Travelodge by the Space Needle said he is trying to hire back housekeeping staff.

“We offered the position to 10 people. Five accepted the offer. Five declined for varied reasons. (Of those,) three found other jobs. Two of them wanted to wait for the unemployment benefits to run out before they would come back,” said Chris Tudor, General Manager of Travelodge by The Space Needle.

arly on in the pandemic, the leisure and hospitality industry was the hardest hit.

According to a regional labor economist with the employment security department, the industry is still down 23 percent year over year.

It’s down about 75,000 jobs.

Job experts say the top reasons for the staffing shortage include: people are changing careers--like taking up jobs with Amazon.

Others are hesitant to return and be around other people. They can’t find child care. And others are counting on extended unemployment benefits.

Other industries feeling the squeeze in the labor shortage include retail and the financial industry.

According to our regional labor economist, the financial industry- which includes real estate, insurance, and banking- is still down 5,000 jobs statewide.

Given the labor shortage, economists say it will take a long time for these industries to catch up to pre-pandemic levels.

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