How the Oregon Restaurant Staffing Shortage Is Becoming a Bigger Issue

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jul 21, 2022 in Labor and Employment

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, people were required to stay inside and limit outings for fear of contracting the virus. Because of the sudden reduction in customers, businesses were forced to let their employees go and even close. Restaurant workers were forced to rely on unemployment and other ways to cope with the loss of work. Now that people have returned to their daily lives and are choosing to eat out more, restaurants are struggling to hire the necessary amount of employees to run their business.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that as of May 2022, Oregon’s unemployment rate is 3.6%, and around 79,000 people are unemployed. While there are plenty of service positions available, many individuals are looking for higher-paying jobs that provide more benefits. The massive staffing shortage damages local economies and forces individuals out of the community. 

4 Factors Impacting the Restaurant Staffing Shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our society. Individuals who once were invested in the restaurant industry are now turning to other opportunities for several reasons, including:

Employee Expectations

After spending a significant time outside of the restaurant industry, employees are finding that the benefits they once received while working in a restaurant are not covering their needs. Not only is the lack of service causing service workers to carry a heavy workload and burden, but they also suffer from frustrated customers. Many restaurant employees are looking for work that can provide them with better benefits than what restaurants may offer. 

Lack of Childcare

In order for a parent to work, childcare must be available and accessible. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also reduced the amount of childcare available for individuals and families. Parents are struggling to support their children and are looking for other areas with better childcare and other jobs that may provide care for their workers.

Remote Opportunities

One of the most significant changes the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced is remote work. Many people enjoy working from home rather than in a restaurant where they may be treated unkindly and have to juggle multiple individuals’ workloads. Remote opportunities have also allowed individuals to find new career paths with better benefits and security.

Cost of Living Increase

As the cost of living in Oregon continues to rise, service industry employees are unable to afford housing in the areas where they work. It’s also expensive to drive to work, buy groceries, and pay for benefits if their employer does not provide them. Many individuals are choosing to relocate their families to areas where the cost of living is lower. 

Many elements contribute to the lack of restaurant staffing, and both employees and customers are frustrated by this issue. However, even with the staffing shortage, employers have a duty to provide the wages and benefits agreed upon in the employee’s contract. If your employer is breaking your agreement, contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact an Experienced Oregon Employment Law Attorney Today

Many workers feel burnt out and stressed with the amount of work they are suddenly required to complete. If your employer is overstepping their contract boundaries and not properly providing you with a safe work environment, speak with Rizk Law lawyers as soon as possible. Our lawyers will offer you their advice and represent you in legal proceedings. You deserve to be heard, and our team will make sure you have a space to express your concerns clearly. We understand how challenging these times can be and will do everything in our power to help you receive justice for the losses you suffer. 

Speak with one of our team members and schedule a free consultation today by calling (503) 245-5677 or filling out our contact form today.