Charn Tiebtienrat, center, struggles to find people to work in his restaurant.
Charn Tiebtienrat pays his chefs $27 an hour and offers free accommodation including utilities, but still struggles to find people to cook meals in his restaurant.
His restaurant, Suk Jai Thai in Whangarei, is now closed on Mondays because it has no staff.
“Last year one of my bosses had to go back to Thailand to take care of his mum when his mum got sick. Then she couldn’t go back to New Zealand because the border was closed. “, did he declare.
“Then when there were flights available she was never able to compete for a place in the MIQ and her visa then expired in November last year.”
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He had to submit a new visa application and is awaiting the result.
Meanwhile, a friend who owns a Thai restaurant in Timaru has loaned one of his chefs to work at Suk Jai, on the condition that when he is needed he should return.
“And he needed him in mid-March, so since then I’ve had to close every Monday.”
He said it was impossible to find a qualified local chef, so Thai restaurants across the country had started poaching each other.
However, it wasn’t just the chefs who were hard to find.
It was also difficult to find servers. He pays senior executives $24 to $26 an hour, with free meals.
New Zealand’s Aotearoa unemployment is at very low levels, but that masks some of the groups who are being left behind, says economist Matt Roskruge.
“Previously, when the border was open, our waiting teams consisted of our local executives and working holiday visa holders. But since the border is closed, these people are not available and I have to try to find the locals. Last year, when I wanted to find service personnel, I had to try nine before I found a competent person.
The problem is widespread, with other cafes and restaurants having reduced hours due to a lack of staff, and some closing their doors completely.
And it’s not just in hospitality. There have been estimates of up to 1000 vacancies for registered nurses in the elderly care sector. Even the fire department said it needed a “huge” increase in the number of career firefighters.
Job site Seek has just under 2,500 adverts for hospitality positions, up 39% year-over-year. The 3,500 computer stations announced are up 7%. There are 2,641 advertised healthcare and medical jobs, up 24%, 3,400 manufacturing, transportation and logistics jobs, up 19%, 2,100 retail jobs, up 18% and 3,500 trade positions, up 9%.
Overall, there were 15% more job openings in April than in April 2021.
The number of advertised hospitality jobs is now 71% higher than in April 2019. Health care and manufacturing, transportation and logistics saw increases of more than 50% from a year ago. three years old.
Trade Me saw similar increases, with a 25% increase in hospitality jobs in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, with an average salary of $53,967. There were 35% more manufacturing and operations jobs at the site, with an average salary of $55,744.
Infometrics economist Brad Olsen said Seek’s job openings represent about 1.3% of the current workforce in sectors under pressure, based on tax filing data from the Inland Revenue. For IT, Trades and Hospitality, vacancies were closer to 2% of current employment.
“[This shows] the level of job growth still required, at a time when the workforce is still limited (and in some cases shrinking),” he said.
“Depending on how finely or tightly we define IT, the size of the IT workforce needed is significant and reinforces the need for New Zealand to develop a workforce pipeline even stronger digital.
“Overall, labor pressures will be a major challenge for the New Zealand economy to face in 2022. In the year to March 2022, population estimates from Stats NZ show that the working-age population fell by 0.2%, at a time when job vacancies according to Research increased by 27% compared to the previous year. Labor market constraints will limit New Zealand’s economy to maintain the same level of momentum in 2022, with workers already working hard to cover Covid-related disruptions and cope with high workloads.