Many foodservice employees are still out of work, as a significant number of restaurants are operating at a deficit and unable to bring on additional staff.
As a result, Restaurants Canada is urging the federal government to reform the federal wage subsidy in order to help restaurants rehire workers as they continue to reopen and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
According to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, at least 400,000 people former employed within the foodservice industry are still out of work.
This is roughly half the number of jobs the sector has lost since the start of the pandemic.
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“Reforms to the federal wage subsidy are urgently needed to help foodservice businesses bring more Canadians back to work amid ongoing restrictions,” David Lefebvre, vice president of Restaurants Canada, said in a news release.
“Forty-four per cent of restaurant operators who responded to our latest survey said they did not apply for the subsidy for at least one of their establishments because it would not meet the requirements,” he continued.
Before the pandemic, the foodservice industry was the fourth-largest source of private sector jobs—the industry employed roughly 1.2 million people across the country.
However, since the start of the pandemic, 800,000 foodservice employees have lost their jobs, and half remain without a job.