Employers in the embattled hospitality sector are struggling to find staff as venues re-open following the Covid-19 restrictions, with job vacancies reaching a 12-year high.
The food and accommodation sector is still Australia’s worst-affected industry from the Covid shutdowns, with the number of jobs still 9.5 per cent below the figure from March 2020 when the pandemic started.
But during the second-last week of March 2021, the number of payroll jobs in the sector rose by 1.7 per cent – well above the average 0.1 per cent increase across all industries, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed this week.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said hospitality employers were crying out for staff.
‘We are short on a lot of skills we need,’ he told Melbourne radio 3AW.
‘The biggest vacancy is cooks and chefs, we just can’t get them.’
Across the economy, the number of jobs advertised on the internet in March rose by 19.1 per cent to a 12-year high of 238,747 available positions.
Data from the National Skills Commission, a federal government agency, showed job ads were up 96.4 per cent, or by 117,184, compared with a year earlier when many businesses were shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Hospitality suffered the most from the lockdowns, and governments have introduced targeted stimulus measures to encourage people back into restaurants, bars and cafes.
The New South Wales government is until June 30 offering all adults $100 worth of vouchers to eat out or visit a tourist attraction.