Restaurants still struggling as unemployment nears pre-COVID-19 levels: Industry body – Winnipeg



Amid the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Canadians are losing their jobs, many continue to struggle to find work, and some industries are struggling to find staff to fill vacant positions.

Although Statistics Canada says unemployment, in general, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, challenges persist for the restaurant industry – which an executive from the Canadian Restaurant Association says is having an impact. very visible.

“It’s fewer hours, it’s people who have to change their menus to make it simpler so you can serve people with less staff,” said James Rillett, the association’s vice president for the central Canada.

“Some (restaurants) close one or two days a week when they normally wouldn’t. This is having to redeploy staff, and in many cases, is that the owner has to work a few extra shifts.

“When we were faced with all these blockages and week to week people weren’t sure whether restaurants would be open or not, a lot of people just said, ‘I owe it to my family and myself to find one. job I know will be here week to week.

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Rillett said the impact of the pandemic has led to the need for a culture change in the industry.

“I think the industry is in a place where they say we have to make sure people see them as career jobs, and that they can start in a restaurant and move up – and maybe become an owner, a manager. or executive in food companies, ”he said.

According to labor statistics, about 3,000 restaurant jobs held by valuable employees in Manitoba before COVID-19 are unfilled.

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Canada’s labor force is measured monthly by Statistics Canada’s Labor Force Survey, of which the Director of Labor Market Information, Vince Dale, is one of StatCan’s most important studies.

“Each month we select a sample of what we call dwellings… and we will contact the people in those dwellings, and we ask them a series of questions about their activities in the labor market – if they were working, if they were they were looking for work, if they weren’t in the job market, which they were doing, ”he said.

“So basically we take a snapshot every month of about 50,000 households in Canada, and the data that is collected through that process is what ultimately becomes the unemployment rate. “

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Dale said statistics from both sides of the equation – supply (people) and demand (businesses) – are used to paint an accurate picture of the employment situation in the country each month.

Salary fluctuations are an important part of this picture and are compared to statistics from other Statistics Canada researchers who measure inflation.

“It has been a challenge,” he said, “as the makeup of employment in Canada has changed dramatically over the past 18 months due to COVID. “

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