The manager of restaurant supplier Russell Hendricks had to juggle a lot of work in the company’s flagship showroom, even offering a $1,000 signing bonus.
“Vancouver was a challenge for me before the pandemic, but the pandemic made it even harder,” said Anna Braszczynska, the company’s vice president of human resources.Sales representative for these showrooms. is typically an entry-level position.
And with BC’s overall unemployment rate near a record low of 4.8% in August, according to Statistics Canada’s Labor Force Survey, Braszczynska isn’t sure “if this is over.” .
Not just BC. Across the country, the workforce, which was first upended by massive unemployment early in the COVID-19 pandemic, is being upended again by multiple forces.
Workers often choose to change jobs and do not return to their lost jobs. Then there are simple demographic pressures for employees to retire sooner than new candidates enter the workforce.
“I think Vancouver has a very low unemployment rate, and I think COVID has changed the mindset of people looking for work,” said Blaszczynska. “People want flexibility, they want to work from home, they want the different kinds of benefits that they are used to with COVID.”
Russell Hendricks’ challenge is to re-staff in line with the hospitality industry, which has its own difficulties in finding workers to meet the demand for two years of contracted tourist growth and special events. keep building.
Many restaurant workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic had options in places like healthcare, tech or Amazon warehouses, said Ian Tostenson, CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association. I’m here.
“And those companies probably did a great job with retention,” Tostenson said.
According to Tostenson, industry estimates are still short of 30,000 to 35,000 employees out of a hospitality workforce of about 190,000.
“Historically, there are so many young people in the system that until, say, five or six years ago they could work, so[recruitment]wasn’t an issue.” said Tostenson. “Now we have to be the employer of choice.”
Jobs statistics back up that challenge estimate, with B.C.’s hospitality sector reporting 12.2% of all job openings in the second quarter of 2022, according to economist Brian Yu.
“Though these sectors have not returned to pre-pandemic employment levels, they are also seeing their biggest challenge of finding employees,” said Yu, chief economist at Central 1 Credit Union.
Moreover, the professional services sector and other occupations in the construction industry, which were stretched tight before the pandemic, are even more short of workers to the point where job growth has actually slowed.
Job vacancies peaked in June when Statistics Canada recorded 179,000 job ads that were not filled. Compared to the unemployment numbers, BC’s ratio was 0.7, meaning that for every 10 vacancies he had, he had 7 potential candidates.
“Job growth has been flat in recent months, and I think part of the reason is that people can’t find employees,” Yu said.
B.C.’s labor market had already started to tighten before the pandemic began, said Ken Peacock, an economist at the Business Council for the B.C. Construction Industry, who said hiring had been difficult for years.
Increased public sector employment, especially in health care and education, has had a major impact on falling unemployment, Peacock said. Private sector employment growth is less impressive.
But Peacock, the council’s vice chairman and chief economist since the pandemic, said demographics are now starting to catch up with the workforce as people are starting to retire sooner than new workers come in. .
Peacock said among the many workers who lost their jobs in the hard-hit sector, many had pursued more stable careers, but some simply hadn’t returned to the workforce. .
“Perhaps half of those who did not lose their jobs (in tourism or hospitality) on a more permanent basis have moved on to other industries, and perhaps about half of those people have not returned to the labor market. ”
Peacock warned that wage rates are also in the equation. People are reluctant to fill some jobs at prevailing wages, but “higher wage rates may not see the same degree of shortage.”
Nevertheless, Mr Peacock said the shrinking pool of workers available to fill vacant jobs is becoming the limit to economic growth itself.
“We are generally at a point where tight labor markets are constraining[company’s]ability to expand,” says Peacock. “Yeah, sure.”
But looking ahead to 2023, Peacock said the Bank of Canada’s move to raise interest rates to curb inflation would help alleviate some of the worst labor shortages as the economy slows.
Employers reach out to recruit workers as British Columbia recovers from pandemic
Source link Employers reach out to recruit workers as British Columbia recovers from pandemic