The bad reputation of the American industry has worsened restoration with the pandemic. Restoration workers have resigned en masse in 2020, complaining of low wages, unpleasant customers, lack of benefits and risk Covid.
When they return to the job market, many of them look elsewhere. In March, job seekers on Snagajob, a job site for hourly workers, were about three times more likely to apply to work in supermarkets and convenience stores than any other average hourly job. Meanwhile, the likelihood of workers applying for restaurant and hospitality jobs has declined.
This is a big contrast to fall 2020, when hourly workers were more likely to apply for jobs in hospitality than the average hourly worker.
This change is part of a larger reshuffling of jobs. Given the tight labor market, workers have more clout and can afford to shop around instead of accepting the first job offered to them. For hourly workers, better work is increasingly in a restaurant.
Restaurant jobs may never recover
What pushed hourly workers to seek new opportunities? Part of it wants more stability. At the height of the pandemic, when shutdowns kept Americans out of restaurants, restaurant and hospitality workers were laid off or laid off in large numbers, according to data from the states’ Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). -United.
In the fall of 2020, as businesses reopened even as cases rose (again), many hourly workers wanting to return to work shunned restaurant jobs, which have a poor track record for accessing furloughs. paid. Meanwhile, many of those already working in restaurants chose to leave. After soaring in 2020, quit rates among restaurant workers remain high, suggesting employees can and are moving on to better jobs.
It is possible that employment in the catering and hospitality industry will never recover. It is still down 1.2 million workers from the levels in February 2020. In response, the restaurants continue to increase wages – in March, they paid an average of 16.69 dollars an hour – and distribute bonuses. But they also bring automation and robots to fill the gaps.
The precariousness of these jobs is fueling a labor movement in the food industry, which includes Starbucks baristas who are organizing to demand more sustainable careers.
What hourly workers are looking for is changing
Meanwhile, the number of workers in the food and beverage retail industry has surged, in part because stores have recovered some of the traffic lost in restaurants during the pandemic. The pay may be lower than what restaurant workers receive on average, but supermarkets tend to offer more stable hours and offer entry-level workers more managerial job opportunities.
Jobs in grocery and convenience stores are also less physically demanding. Jobs in convenience stores in particular are attractive to people outside urban areas, said Matthew Stevenson, CEO of Snagajob, because they are often closer to home workers, allowing them to save the essence.
“One of the big revelations of covid was how fungible the skills of hourly workers were,” Stevenson said. “People recognize ‘hey, I have this skill set that’s a lot more transferable than I thought…I’m going to pick the industry that interests me the most.'”