Readers respond: No more benefits? Try hospitality work – OregonLive

The Aug. 29 Oregonian newspaper presented a juxtaposition of articles that address economic problems and potential solutions: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is ending $424 weekly payments (“Up to 80,000 unemployed Oregonians face aid cutoff after Labor Day.”) Average wages for hospitality workers have increased by more than 10% from a year ago (“Oregon Insight: Hospitality workers net astonishing 10% wage hike in just a year.”) And employers face a labor shortage in Oregon, particularly in the hospitality industry.
However, average hourly pay for hospitality workers of $19.49 would total $779 for a 40-hour week. Working 25 hours a week would total $487, offsetting the loss of PUA benefits. I understand that some people may be unable to work in the hospitality industry and that such jobs may not guarantee a minimum number of hours. And I know that temporarily leaving one’s career path is troublesome and uncertain. But at least Oregon’s economy is currently sufficiently strong to provide that opportunity to those who are willing and able to take it.
K.C. Jones, Portland
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