Friday news roundup May 21, 2021
UK restaurants experience chef shortages as indoor dining resumes. Whilst the UK is easing out of lockdown restrictions and people are now allowed to eat indoors again for the first time in five months, the country’s restaurants and bars are struggling to find enough staff as a result of Brexit and three lockdowns in the last year. Recruiters are echoing this concern by saying that many of their most experienced chefs, waiters, and bartenders have chosen other jobs. The industry is facing a “fairly massive, very serious skills shortage,” David Moore, owner of Pied à Terre, London’s longest-standing independent Michelin-starred restaurant, said. This could mean that the UK economy is still struggling to rebound from the worst recession the country has experienced in three centuries or it could also signal rising inflation rates that are a concern for many investors.
Find IZA World of Labor content on how Covid-19 has affected the labor market.
US: Jobless claims drop more than expected. According to figures released by the Labor Department on Thursday initial claims for jobless benefits went a new pandemic-era low of 444,000, an improvement from the expected 452,000 Dow Jones estimate. The figures also show the accelerated economic reopening across the country and highlight a decline from the previous week’s 478,000. The fast pace of Covid-19 vaccines has also helped the economy rebound, with the country administering 1.8 million shots a day. “The April jobs report was disappointing ... But the steady decline in initial unemployment insurance claims over the past few months, as well as other UI data, suggest that the April report understated the improvement in the labor market,” PNC chief economist, Gus Faucher, wrote.
Read Robert Moffitt’s article “Unemployment benefits and unemployment.”
Australian students walk out of classrooms in a climate change strike. Thousands of students across Australia left their classrooms to take part in the largest march for climate change. The crowd consisted of high school, university students, and even a few primary school students, amongst others. “I have been striking school for almost two-and-a-half years now and in this time the government has failed to produce climate solutions which guarantee me and future generations a liveable future,” Pia O'Flynn, one of the rally organizers, commented. Mena Tabeshfar, another organizer, agreed that the lack of action by the government has left her with no other choice but to act. “I and many other people want a secure and safe future,” she said. The reactions from various schools differed greatly: some schools attempted to deter students from participating whilst others allowed the posting of flyers about the event on school grounds.
Find IZA World of Labor content on Environmental regulation and the labor market.