EDITORIAL: Labour shortages taking a toll

Businesses, health care sector affected by ongoing staffing challenges

Help wanted signs are common around Greater Victoria and across Canada, and the shortage of workers is taking a toll.

Many fast food outlets display signs offering jobs at well above minimum wage. Small businesses, especially in construction, hospitality, and tourism, have struggled to find staff for months.

Services such as transit, ferries and healthcare are facing interruptions because of staffing challenges and the ongoing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Labour shortage hampers B.C. construction industry amid high demand for work

This is a far cry from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when the unemployment rate in Canada rose sharply. More than one million jobs were lost in March 2020. Many other businesses restructured, resulting in reduced hours for workers. The following month, another two million jobs were lost, and the national unemployment rate reached 13 per cent.

High unemployment levels have aren’t limited to global pandemics. Those who remember the recession of the early 1980s will recall when the unemployment rate reached 13.1 per cent. And a decade later, in the early 1990s, it reached 12.1 per cent.

The economy has since shown signs of recovery, and Canada now has almost 200,000 more jobs than it did before the start of the pandemic. The initial struggles associated with job losses have been replaced with hiring challenges for employers.

It is impossible to meet the service levels many have come to expect without adequate staffing. And if employers offer high wages to attract workers, this will eventually show itself in higher prices for consumers.

When staffing shortages affect medical and health-care professionals, patients have longer wait times for appointments and treatments.

If we are to have a solid health-care system, and if businesses are to function during these times, workable solutions to the ongoing labour shortage must be found.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image