Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

In the US, restaurant workers are retiring in record numbers, and the numbers are rising

In the US, restaurant workers are retiring in record numbers, and the numbers are rising

Restaurant workers have had it.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 7% of workers in the US food service and lodging industry quit their jobs in August, surpassing the 2.9% rate for the rest of the economy. That is the highest on record since the BLS began tracking the quit numbers in December 2000. The number of workers leaving the restaurant industry totaled 892,000, up from 735,000 a month ago.

The study indicates that these workers are leaving because they are searching for better jobs, as the high quit rate may be understood as a measure of workers confidence in their ability to land jobs elsewhere.

Restaurant workers are often unpaid and often have poor working conditions due to their low wages.

The restaurant industry has long had high turnover rates, which became more acute during the epidemic. According to a recent survey from Joblist, workers are quitting because of low pay, inclination for securing reemployment, lack of benefits, long days, and exposure to covid-19, according to the site.

Throughout the summer, Republican governors and business owners claimed that the elimination of emergency unemployment benefits will bring back a flood of workers. But, as it appears, that isn't the case. Employers have been offering bonuses and raising wages in an attempt to attract workers back, with the hourly average wage for leisure and hospitality workers now reaching $18.95.

The persistent labor problems may result in a permanently reduced number of workers available to restaurants. Employment in the industry is still 8% lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to the company. Meanwhile, restaurant owners are turning to automation and other services that dont require waiters, servers, or dishwashers to deal with fewer workers.

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