Labour shortages climb as unemployment rates drop
The Savoy Brasserie is one of many Ottawa restaurants struggling to find employees. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- As unemployment rates in the country drop with Canada adding tens of thousands of jobs in August, labour shortages continue to trouble businesses.
The story of Canada's job market is easily told at the tables of Westboro's Savoy Brasserie.
"We're a prime location. People should be dropping off resumes and asking us to work here,” said general manager Gordon Gifford. “This is insane.”
The restaurant, like many in the food services industry, can't find enough staff. Help wanted ads now bring few results.
"We're still stuck trying to find veteran servers, management, cooks. Our executive chef hasn't had a day off in months,” said Gifford.
For that reason, it's no surprise Canada's unemployment rate is falling. According to Stats Canada the country added 90,000 jobs in August, which drove the unemployment rate down to 7.1 per cent -- the lowest since the start of the pandemic.
"Almost all the jobs have been recovered that were lost over the 18 months of the recession, that's a good thing, great news," said economist Ian Lee.
Ontario was among the province's that created the most jobs last month, concentrated mostly in full-time work.
Locally, Ottawa's unemployment rate improved to 7 per cent, down from 7.6 percent last month.
"It is uneven, not all industries are doing equally as well, but it show's the economy is on a recovery trajectory," said Lee.
The economic gains come as certain industries continue to battle pandemic challenges. But restaurants like Savoy Brasserie have hope that a better economy will mean more customers, and staff to feed them.
"We see a great future, so it keeps you motivated," said Gifford.
While this month's job numbers indicate as close to pre-pandemic levels Canada has seen yet some experts say rage economy is still far from full recovery -- especially with the worst of a fall fourth wave still to come.