Interesting walking around town and the malls seeing the help wanted signs in the windows. It started as the summer season approached and now is becoming more prevalent as the businesses start the ascent to the Christmas season.
The economy is doing well, which means new businesses are starting or locating here some of which require trained staff, so they are offering a chance for those who have been in entry level positions to gain experience. This puts pressure on the retail and hospitality industries to find new staff.
The other challenge for those in entry level positions is housing. More and more, affordable housing is either not available in the communities, or is not affordable. In many areas we have the working homeless. Some are couch-surfing with friends or are living in their vehicles.
Even more interesting is that this is not the only area where lack of qualified employees exists. The construction industry is booming, so trades are really in demand. Projects are delayed because of the serious lack of tradespeople. In conversations with accountants and other professional offices, they are finding the same thing.
Something that has helped on Vancouver Island is the price of housing in Vancouver and the lower mainland. We are finding that young professionals are looking at the island where housing is more affordable. This is bringing new talent to the area and new industry. The tech industry is an example of this. Some live here and work in Vancouver either, either commuting or working from home.
A local fast-food restaurant locked their doors to limit the number of customers on the weekend because they were short-staffed and could not serve the customers waiting. The impact of a labour shortage can be devastating, especially for small business.
This is not a simple issue as it is impacted by regional economy, aging population, rising house prices, and lack of affordable accommodation. As a result, no simple solution.
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