Restaurants seeing employee shortage as they start to get back to normal

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 8:35 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Businesses throughout the Grand Valley are experiencing a hiring shortage after more than a year into the pandemic and restaurants have especially been hit hard. Covid cost millions of Americans their jobs nationwide so many owners were expecting there to be a hiring boom with restaurants and retail stores re opening their doors, but businesses in Mesa County are reporting significant labor shortages.

The number of restaurants workers has gone down 20% compared to numbers last year. There is a range of factors blamed for the shortage. The list includes parents who would rather work from home to take care of their kids and avoid day costs, as well as those retiring because of Covid concerns. Workers saw that an entire industry can deteriorate overnight and leave everyone unemployed, which for a lot of employees in the restaurant industry scared them away.

The Grand Valley is about to hit a very busy season with tourism returning. If workers are not found this could keep our economy from bouncing back. Until the staffing problems are addressed, the experts say we will continue to see shortened hours and longer wait times at establishments across the Grand Valley.

The Mesa County workforce center is aware of this problem and is working with employers to create job fairs, skill development, and free testing for applicants to bring those not currently in the workforce in touch with businesses in need.

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