Service Industry Workers, Quit, at Record Rate. According to a report by NPR, workers have been leaving jobs in restaurants, bars and hotels at the highest rate in decades. So far this year, each month around 5% of the service industry workforce have decided to quit. In May alone, this accounted for roughly 706,000 people. There are a staggering 1.2 million jobs open in the industry. According to NPR, low wages are the most common reason people cite for leaving food service work. Other reasons revolve around the industry's high-stress culture. Exhausting work, unreliable hours, no benefits and many rude customers, have all been contributing factors. . The pandemic saw many low-wage workers at stores and restaurants forced to enforce mask-wearing mandates, exposing them to harassment and physical attacks. To help fill the void left by the exodus of workers, average hourly pay for nonmanagers at restaurants and bars topped $15. According to Jeannette Wicks-Lim, a labor economist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, service industry jobs have been "plagued with low wages for an extraordinary long period of time.". She says that despite the increase in wages, workers are just barely making up lost ground. As a result of the worker shortage, many food establishments find themselves reducing hours, operating with skeleton crews and desperate to fill vacant positions.
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