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Worker shortage Poll

How has the worker shortage affected you?
Carri Tokareff, an Everett Food Bank employee since late last year, packs bags while surrounded by empty shelves Tokareff said the food bank has never seen a shortage of food like this one, and that it’s due to an economic climate in which more people are using the food bank’s services and fewer people are able to donate. The food bank has had to reduce its services from once a week per family to twice a month, and the boxes of supplies they do offer are now less diverse and missing things like sanitary products. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Restaurants across the country are reducing hours and condensing menus as persistent staff shortages and spiking costs threaten to derail the industry’s comeback from crushing pandemic restrictions.

The decision by many restaurants to scale back operations comes despite an upswing in business as diners return to restaurants in full force.

“Customers are back. But when you don’t have staff to work all the shifts, you start cutting back hours,” said local business owners.

This is just one of the examples of how the worker shortage has hit many businesses hard, with workers pushing back against long hours, unstable schedules and low pay.

Many other sectors have seen transportation delays affecting stock, food banks facing empty shelves and an overall lack of services from hospitals, doctors and dentists.

Even farmers are facing having to euthanizing stock.

Shelves are partially empty at grocery stores Shortages at grocery stores have grown in recent weeks as new problems — like the fast-spreading omicron variant and severe weather — have piled on to the supply chain struggles and labor shortages that have plagued retailers since the coronavirus pandemic began. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)