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With most restaurants and bars fully reopen across Canada, employers say they are having a difficult time finding workers despite efforts offering bonuses and other efforts to attract staff. They claim that current government benefits–such as expanded eligibility for EI payments–lowers incentive for workers to accept low wages.

However, new Statistics Canada data shows that there is an official unemployment rate of 7.5%, and other pools of hidden unemployment (including short work hours, and those who left the labour force in the midst of the pandemic) push the true unemployment rate towards 15 per cent.

Overall, wages in stores and restaurants still remains low and are not rising, which should happen if labour was genuinely scarce.

Read more in this Toronto Star piece.

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