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Halifax job fair addresses staff shortages brought on by COVID-19

The Halifax Hospitality Hiring Fair comes at a time when demand for workers is still rather high in many sectors.

For Darian Shakerina, the Halifax Hospitality Job Fair signals an abundance of employment opportunities.

“I feel a little bit less stressed that regard,” said Shakerina.

Shakerina's pandemic experience was not all negative.

“Academically, the pandemic open avenues in a sense, because I could do remote work," said Shakerina who noticed job opportunities were limited for more than a year.

Now things are opening up.

“I feel like there are a lot of options," said Shakerina. "You can browse Indeed or look online and I feel like there are a lot of options in Halifax.”

The job fair comes at a time when over demand is still rather high in many sectors.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said the wave of COVID-19 restrictions that caused restaurants and bars to open and close repeatedly brought long-term damage to businesses.

“People in the hospitality industry were pounded,” said Savage who added restaurants, bars and hotels are scrambling to bring staffing back to pre-pandemic levels.

"The fact that we are growing as we are and some people have jobs in tech industries and other things makes it even more difficult for our hospitality folks,” said Savage.

Luc Erjavec from Restaurants Canada told CTV News, in the Atlantic Region there are still more than 7,000 job vacancies in restaurants and bars alone.

“This industry is always starving for people,” said Wooden Monkey Restaurant owner Lil MacPherson.

According to MacPherson, the pressure is enormous to keep her restaurant fully staffed while navigating factors beyond her control.

“We will staff up for a big weekend and then it will rain storm," said MacPherson. "Or there will be a COVID-19 scare and we will send people home and then we have all this food.”

MacPherson said finding a pathway to survive because of staff shortages is now more difficult than before. Top Stories

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