Employment in the US on-trade has fallen for the first time since spring 2020 due to the Delta variant of Coronavirus spreading across the country.
The number of people working in pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes dropped by 42,000 to 11.34 million last month, according to Business Insider citing latest figures from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) showing that hospitality recorded the largest drop in employment compared to other industries such as retail, healthcare, and manufacturing.
“Delta seems to be the overwhelming factor affecting the labor market right now,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor.
The findings showed that, throughout August 2021, 5.6 million people said they were unable to work for reasons linked to the pandemic. Last year, a third of former hospitality workers said in a survey by Joblist that they weren’t planning on returning to the industry because they wanted a different work setting, higher pay, better benefits, more flexibility, and remote work.
In the meantime, restaurant owners are lamenting how they are struggling to find enough staff. The owners of Cafe Elk Grove in California told Business Insider that some job applicants were not even showing up to job interviews, or were accepting jobs without bothering to turn up for their first shift.
As a result, many restaurant owners are being forced to close their doors or reduce their opening hours in an effort to manage the ongoing staff shortages while running their business.