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Where did the service industry go?

By Max Lempert

The food service industry has greatly suffered due to the effects of COVID-19. Restaurants have not been at capacity in most major cities, people are afraid to dine out and inside the lost revenue is incalculable. Yet, currently that is not the issue many restaurant owners are facing. In Washington DC and many other cities across the country there is a massive work shortage in the service industry.

There are multiple reasons this work shortage may exist but many account it to the unemployment extension. Many service sector laborers are collecting hundreds a week from unemployment which is probably fairly similar to usual service wages. This combined with slow foot traffic at restaurants likely making tips less is enough to keep service workers away.

This brings up questions like:

Should unemployment benefits stop if there are so many jobs available?

Is it the responsibility of restaurants to provide better pay or hourly pay to incentives workers to come back to restaurants?

See more below!


About MaxLempert

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