Restaurants and the labor market

This article by Steve Barnes is about local restaurants having a hard time finding employees -- but it's about all sorts of other threads, including the modern food economy, the labor market, immigration, and ICE. (The flip side of this story is also that maybe we should all be paying a bit more to eat in restaurants so that the people who work there can make more.) [TU]

Comments

This is a situation without a single, clear solution, because the problem is multifaceted. I wonder about a lot of different aspects of this a lot. Where are the local college kids trying to pay their way through school? I lived at home and worked a hot, dirty, rough kitchen job through high school and through college and even after college so that I could pay for my student loans. I understand that's not an option for everyone, but I imagine it is more practical than a lot of people give it credit for.

I don't feel even a tiny bit bad for employers who willingly hire workers who are in the country illegally or undocumented. That's called breaking the law, and these restaurants should get slapped with the book for doing that. Like this idiot: "Jasper says he's aware of one restaurant worker who, hearing that ICE agents were nearby and picking up people off the street, fled his job with his employer's blessing and hid out in the public library until he could get a ride home." The employer should be legally liable for that incident. Employers hiring these individuals aren't always on the up and up, and I do believe worker abuse is far more common among these workers than it should be, precisely because employers can get away with it and somehow claim a moral high ground in doing so.

DZ Restaurants has the right idea; do it the legal way. If it's really impossible to find local people to fill these slots, it sounds like the J-1 visa program is a great way to get staff. If the restaurant industry needs immigrants to staff their establishments, let's do it the legal way.

"The flip side of this story is also that maybe we should all be paying a bit more to eat in restaurants so that the people who work there can make more." You prove to me how these low skill jobs actually require more money and I'll show you basic economics how that logic leads to a wonderful world of inflation. But, I wouldn't have to do that because these jobs aren't worth more than what they're currently getting paid.

But if we follow your suggestion we would expect to see fewer of us eating out, and thus fewer restaurant employees. Not saying either choice is good or bad, but if the employees are your concern, those are the trade-offs.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Yep, this summer was unusually hot

Summer ends this weekend.* And it's been hot -- unusually so, by a few measures. One of those is 90+ degree days. The Albany area... (more)

Newburgh, Catskill, Troy

Those three cities get the "Next Hudson, but maybe different?" treatment from New York Magazine. Earlier: A check list for Upstate Place/Rust Belt City is... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Welcome to the first weekend of fall -- otherwise known as festival season in the Capital Region. This weekend's festivals include music, hot air balloons,... (more)

The old riverfront and the old bridge

Random historical photo we stumbled across while looking for something else: This aerial photo of the Albany riverfront is from 1969 and shows the... (more)

Hudson Valley Gamer Con

Video games are now being treated like sports. Colleges are fielding teams. And some of those teams will be at the Albany Capital Center March... (more)

Recent Comments

La Mexicana is a treasure. We always buy a few packages of the Chorizo and freeze them (after stopping in for tacos) -Great market and really cool restaurant.

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 1 comment, most recently from Nancy

A look around the Maiden House residential + retail conversion in downtown Albany

...has 9 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Silver Fox Salvage is closing

...has 1 comment, most recently from Daleyplanit

Where to buy Mexican-style chorizo?

...has 9 comments, most recently from WCF

Friend connections across space and time

...has 1 comment, most recently from h