Groceries stores are having trouble with their supply chains because factories aren’t keeping up with production. Restaurants are cutting hours and closing on slow days because they can’t find enough staff for their kitchens. All kinds of employers — many of them in the food or service industries — are begging for new hires.
What’s going on? Well, theories abound, but at least one fast-food executive has a suggestion: We need more immigrants to come into the country. We also need to fix immigration policies that make it hard for undocumented immigrants who are already here to get work.
Immigrants have long been a mainstay of many industries
The events of the past few years have forced a lot of employers to reckon with the fact that they offer low wages and difficult working conditions to their employees — and that doesn’t make them very attractive to many potential new hires.
The reality is that many low-paid, entry-level jobs in food service, manufacturing, hospitality and other industries have long been filled by immigrants. They’re often willing to work longer hours at lower pay rates in so-called “minimum skill” positions when natural-born citizens in this country are not.
Aside from the fact that many women have left the workforce because they no longer have adequate or affordable childcare services, the population growth in this country has fallen sharply. Simultaneously, the immigration policies of the last few years have been inhospitable to foreign-born workers, to say the least.
The labor shortage is forcing a reckoning, of sorts. With luck, more high-powered voices will speak out in support of immigration reform. If immigration is your dream, find out more about what kinds of opportunities there are for you.