The service sector has seen an 18 per cent decline in workers since the start of the pandemic, meanwhile, the tech industry has seen a 15 per cent increase, according to a new national poll by Angus Reid Institute.
Brandon Bouchard, Red Deer Downtown Business Association chair and manager of Tribe restaurant and bar, agreed there has been an exodus of trained service industry workers who have moved on to other careers after repeated closures during the pandemic.
“Right now we’re training from the ground up. In a lot of cases, we’re hiring people with little to no experience. The pandemic really hit businesses pretty hard, and it’s going to be some time before things are back to normal,” Bouchard said.
The study showed a 22 per cent decline of workers in the service sector among 18 to 24-year-olds, while the tech sector has seen 36 per cent increase in that age group.
Bouchard said the service industry still attracts mostly younger workers and hiring people who are new to the service sector can re-invigorate businesses.
“The most successful businesses in the service industry are going to focus a lot more on their culture a lot more now than they have in the past to attract and retain quality people.
“It has to be a fun place to work. That’s how you keep staff. Your business is successful if your staff is happy and guests come back.”
The study of more than 5,000 Canadians showed satisfaction among service workers was at 72 per cent, compared to professionals at 87 per cent, tech workers at 84 per cent, and those in the creative or knowledge industry at 83 per cent. Labour workers were the least satisfied at 65 per cent, while office workers are at 70 per cent.
Data also showed:
• One in three full-time workers from 2020 are no longer working full time. Ten per cent of those workers retired, and seven per cent switched to part time.
• Two in five of those who were working full time in March 2020 say their employment status is different — whether that was finding a new job, going back to school, or cutting back their hours or retiring.
• One in five young people have chosen to go back to school rather than enter the workforce.
• Among those who changed jobs, 55 per cent are working full-time today, 12 per cent are working part time, seven per cent are looking for work, and 11 per cent retired.
For more information on the study visit www.angusreid.org/.