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The Role of Newcomers in the Path to Recovery for the Accommodation and Food Industry

Posted on: June 1, 2024

The accommodation and food sector was hit hard by the pandemic and is still struggling to recover. According to the Canadian Tourism Labour Market Snapshot, the accommodation and food services sector has suffered the greatest job losses (123,700 jobs) of the tourism labour force as a result of pandemic-related closures of the industry and decreased demand, making up 90.6% of unemployment in the whole tourism and hospitality industry.

One of the major barriers to the recovery of the accommodation and food sector from these massive job losses is the difficulty in recruiting new talent to fill the worker shortage. According to research from the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) on employment change by industry, from 2019 to 2021, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the accommodation and food services sector was found to have the greatest difficulty recruiting, with a 20.8% loss in employment. The sector’s struggle to retain skilled labour reflects this, with 40.4% of businesses reporting difficulties in retaining workers as many migrate from hospitality and tourism roles to other sectors. The sector, like other sectors, is also undergoing significant transformation as a result of digitizations with more and more roles requiring specialized skills and training.

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