The Work B.C. Burns lake Centre says there are 150 job vacancies in the area right now. (Eddie Huband photos/Lakes District News)

The Work B.C. Burns lake Centre says there are 150 job vacancies in the area right now. (Eddie Huband photos/Lakes District News)

Worker shortage plaguing Burns Lake

Employers are struggling to fill positions

Shortages of workers has become a real issue in the local area, especially in Burns Lake. According to the WorkB.C. website, there were 96 job vacancies posted by the Burns Lake location as of Dec. 17. These jobs include everything from servers to nurses to truck drivers.

Lakes District News spoke to Kumba Dennis, financial and human resource manager at WorkB.C about the increasing demand for workers, who said that in actual fact, there are more jobs then just the ones on the website. “In our Burns Lake office, we have approximately 150 jobs posted including the 96 that are listed on WorkB.C. website,” she said.

To put that into perspective, a little over a year and a half ago, that number would typically be 70-80, meaning that it’s almost tripled during that time.

In Houston, there are 90 job vacancies listed on the WorkB.C. website as of Dec. 17.

Local businesses are also noticing the issue. According to Pub N’ Tandoori Grill owner Babbi Singh, finding workers has been so much of a struggle that the restaurant recently applied through the province to bring in four foreign workers.

“We have consistent problems with staffing for front of house and back of house. Labour shortages make it very tough to provide and serve for the community. We are trying our absolute best with the staff we currently have, nonetheless they are getting burnt out,” said Singh.

He went on to say that he believes one of the leading reasons for the shortages are due to lack of rental accommodation locally.

China Moon, another restaraunt in Burns Lake, remains closed for indoor dining due to lack of workers available.

In B.C., 59 per cent of small businesses are experiencing labour shortages according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

WorkB.C. believes that it’s a combination of things causing the issue, all centred around the pandemic. “We have seen COVID-19 impacting workers shortages based on our conversations with local employers and businesses and seeing reduced numbers of job seekers coming to our offices,” the representative told

Lakes District News asked Dennis if the issue of available housing is adding to the shortages. “Yes, we have heard about the lack of available houses throughout our catchment,” she replied.

The problem isn’t just in the local area, it’s nation wide. In fact, in there was a staggering 25.8 per cent [150,300] increase in job vacancies nation wide in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter two years ago according to Statistics Canada.

READ MORE: Jobless rate drops to 6 per cent in November as number of long-term unemployed falls

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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