Restaurants struggle to attract workers. Trump’s immigration policies don’t help.

Feb 23, 2017
Originally published on February 22, 2017 4:12 pm

Restaurants depend on immigrants. Nationally, nearly one in five restaurant employees are foreign born. So what could President Trump's new immigration policies mean for the workers, and ultimately for the food service industry?

Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant Association, joined Stateside today. He said the immigration policies are a problem for the industry now, but they could be an even bigger problem down the road.

"It's difficult to know exactly what new orders will [come from] the Trump administration, at least as we are talking right now," Winslow said. "But I can talk more generally to the difficulty this industry is going to have filling necessary jobs going forward. The simple fact is over the next decade restaurants will likely create more jobs than the U.S.-born workforce can fill."

According to Winslow, the restaurant industry continues to grow and therefore needs new workers. Restaurants also have the youngest workforce of any sector of the economy. And with younger workers in decline, there are going to be big holes to fill.

For more, including an explanation of the biggest problem restaurant owners now face and what Winslow hopes to see from lawmakers in Washington, listen above.

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