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Shoppers, workers clash over post-pandemic expectations

Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2022 shows a hiring sign posted on the window of a retail store in Washington, D.C., the United States. U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs in July despite recession fears, with the unemployment rate edging down to the pre-pandemic level of 3.5 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — More than two and a half years into the pandemic, many businesses have had to curb their hours of operations or services as they continue to grapple with labor shortages.

The National Restaurant Association’s most recent monthly survey of 4,200 restaurant operators found that 60% of restaurants reduced hours of operation on the days they were open, while 38% closed on the days they would normally be open compared to right before the pandemic.

The changes are creating a disconnect between customers who want to shop and dine like they used to during pre-pandemic times and exhausted employees who no longer want to work those long hours.

That push-pull is only being heightened during the busy holiday shopping season.