60% of Restaurants are Still Having Trouble Finding Employees Three Years After Wuhan Virus Outbreak

According to a report by Leslie Patton at Bloomberg, the United States’ food service industry is having trouble hiring employees. The food service industry in the US nearly accounts for $1 trillion in economic activity.

Some companies have tried increasing pay and benefits to little success. Some chains such as Jack in the Box and Domino’s Pizza said that labor troubles are affecting their business nationwide. 

A recently published survey showed that over 60% of business establishments are short on staff. 

Job openings have been climbing upwards since the Wuhan virus pandemic broke out. Job openings surged to 1.7 million in December. 

According to Anna Zhou, an economist at Bank of America Institute who analyzes labor market trends, the strong employment figures don’t take into account the sales growth that’s driving the need for additional workers,. US restaurant and bar sales are estimated to grow by roughly 6% in 2023 to roughly $1 trillion, per a report by the National Restaurant Association.

“Despite the really strong gains in the labor market, leisure and hospitality continues to be the sector where you haven’t seen the full recovery,” stated Zhou. “They continue to struggle to fill every opening.”

Millennials and Gen Xers, the demographic cohorts who are mostly employed in the restaurant or retail sector, make up the bulk of the over 2 million people still not in the labor force, Bank of America research showed in February. Many of these individuals left the labor force to take care of their children or elderly parents, due to a disability or disease or relocated to parts of the country with lower costs of living, Zhou observed.

Indeed, there are structural features of the American economy — over-regulation and easy money  — that make it difficult for economic normalcy to take place. On top of that, many young Americans have grown disenchanted with the political and economic system and are beginning to opt en masse from it. 

Only a political project that promotes the dismantling of the regulatory state and easy money can make things right and allow for Americans to participate in the American economy and lead prosperous lives. 

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