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July’s Industry Insights

October

Here’s a report on Restaurant labor trends we saw in July to give you better insight into the current labor market for the food and drink industry.

So far, this year hasn’t been as big of a dumpster fire as 2020 was, but we’re already halfway through 2021 and still feeling the ebbs and flows of the pandemic. Fortunately, even as vaccination rates are stalling and the Delta Variant is making some waves in the U.S., it looks as though the restaurant industry is staying strong in its reopening. Looking back on our data for the labor market in July, it’s clear that employment in the restaurant and hospitality industry is steadily moving upward. However, it’s still not soaring like we’ve all been waiting for, and it makes sense. Things are better — but we’re not entirely out of the woods yet, and uncertainty still influences many workers returning to restaurants. Here is what we saw on Poached in July to keep you updated on employment in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Employer Activity
The good news is, while competition in hiring is still up — it seems to be leveling out. When looking at jobs posted in July compared to April, we saw a 14.6% increase in job postings on Poached. Competition is still fierce, but even though we still see a record number of jobs posted daily, we’re not seeing as sharp an incline as we did in April. With this in mind, it’s still important to put extra effort into your job posts. Fine-tune your sales pitch to encourage the workers to apply for your jobs over your competitions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly Employment Situation Summary reports similar progress in July overall industries, with significant gains in the Leisure and Hospitality sector. The BLS report for July shows that job creation rose by 943,000, which was much better than anticipated as concern over the Delta Variant is growing.

Worker Activity
While employment in the restaurant industry isn’t soaring — employers should find encouragement in July’s worker activity, which displayed a decent increase compared to April. When looking at new worker registrations, we saw an 18.9% increase in July compared to April. There was also a 27.8% increase in applications submitted and a 23.6% increase in resumes uploaded or created on Poached. Overall, the numbers indicate that workers are coming back. So again, it’s essential to include as many details in your job posts as possible, highlighting why working for your business is an opportunity a worker won’t want to pass up!

The BLS reports that unemployment went down by 0.5%, making the overall unemployment rate 5.4%. So, employment isn’t rapidly picking up — but it is getting better! The report also showed that labor participation was at 61.7% in July. That’s 1.6 percentage points lower than February 2020, right before the pandemic hit in the U.S. Overall, things are not back to pre-pandemic times. However, they are still looking up even as the Delta Variant is causing another spike in COVID-19 cases across the country.

So far, our industry is looking pretty good. Hiring is still more complex than ever, but the state of hiring has begun to level out, with a steady upward trend. August and September will be interesting months as the nation holds a collective breath in the face of the Delta Variant and as the last stimulus package expires. So while we expect to see employment in the food and drink industry continue to rise, we could be in for some more bumps in the road.

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Ashley Lange

Ashley Lange likes to cook, loves to bake and is always day-dreaming of her next meal. Ashley has spent the last 10 years in various roles within the food industry and is currently a server in Portland, Oregon.

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