The food-service industry had a labour shortage before the pandemic and now it has nearly doubled. David Owen, Owner of De La Mer Fresh Fish Market said he needs 36 employees to operate his four Toronto fish shops. With over a year into the pandemic, the fish market is roughly 10 people short.
Owen explained “We used to put a job posting up and we’d get an average of 100 applicants over a week. Now we’re getting 30 or 40. And we may not hire any,” He added that “We’ve actually had to reduce hours and close two days a week because we simply didn’t have enough staff to run without burning out the crew we had,”
Other food-service industry owners are experiencing a similar situation to Owen. The labour market statistics showed that there were around 68,000 unfilled positions in this sector before the pandemic hit. According to Statistics Canada’s most recent data that number has jumped to roughly 130,000.
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