Local breweries struggling to find employees

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After breweries and pubs were hit especially hard from the pandemic, some are looking to hire workers again for the summer season.

The only problem: there are few people applying for the jobs.

Many owners of local breweries and pubs say they are having trouble finding people to hire back on to their team after previously having to slash staff to cut costs. According to the Oregon Employment Department, breweries saw a nearly 50% job loss in March 2020 compared to the year prior.

Those numbers are high when compared to the broader food industry in Oregon.

Now, as economic recovery and vaccine roll out continue, some breweries are gearing up for an anticipated influx of customers. But, between many counties being placed back into the high-risk category last week and few qualified applicants for openings — hiring staff is a challenge.

“It’s a real concern for a lot of people with the lack of people to hire, the lack of submissions pool of applicants,” Colin Rath of Migration Brewing said. “There’s just a lot of people trying to figure out what’s going on there and how to fix it and where all those applicants are.”

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