Increased Consumer Activity Driving Wages Up for Restaurant and Hospitality Workers

Jul 7, 2021Financial Literacy, News

As the economy recovers from COVID-19 and pandemic-related restrictions are lifted, low-wage workers are increasingly finding jobs and getting pay increases. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics reported that the economy added nearly 850,000 jobs in June, including 343,000 added in the hospitality sector, which includes restaurants.

“Americans are becoming more mobile and dining out more,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, according to PYMNTS. “Retailers and restaurants are having to pay more to hire workers to meet that demand.”

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that businesses that depend on low-skilled labor have had to use expensive tactics to attract workers. Specifically, a fast food restaurant is offering $1,500 sign-on bonuses.

Restaurants were not the only businesses to increase jobs in June. Retailers added 67,000 jobs, and salons and dry cleaners added 29,000, as Americans modify their appearance to return to work or go out to eat.

However, four of the government’s broad sectors lost workers in June: construction, financial activities, nondurable goods, and motor vehicles and parts. The latter is largely due to plant shutdowns caused by semiconductor shortages.

Eugene Lupario, chief executive of staffing firm SVS Group, noted that around San Francisco, restaurants are hiring workers at almost $20 an hour, up nearly $5 per hour from before COVID-19. “There is no shortage of opportunities, but we still have a lot of job seekers asking if they can get a customer-service job they can do from home, rather than return to a restaurant,” he said.

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