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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am racking my brain around the laborer shortage.

It got me thinking when my girl and I went out to a nice steak dinner and a movie last night. The restaurant we went to had many available tables, but there was a 45 minute wait. Patrons saw all the empty tables and didn't want to wait because clearly they were understaffed on a Friday night, so they walked out. We opted to stay because we had over 3 hours to burn before our movie time.

We finally get our table and it took us another 15 minutes to get drinks. Our waitress looked overwhelmed, but she was in good spirits. She really appreciated us being so understanding and hearing our praise for her juggling all the workload.

While we sat there waiting for our food, our waitress brought us 3 drinks and rolls. It took almost 2 hours for us to get our food. The movie was about to start in 30 minutes and we haven't even got our entrée yet. Our waitress kept apologizing it was taking so long to get our food.

What I noticed as I sat there was nearly everyone was sending their steaks back. So I knew ours wasn't going to come out right. And it didn't. It came out 15 minutes before movie time and we didn't care that our steaks weren't cooked right... we already waited there 3 hours in total. We got our food boxed up and bolted to the movie (prepaid for tickets).

Same thing at the movie theatre. There was 2 people working the entire lobby on a Friday night; the first weekend a major movie was released. They were packed. People were bypassing concessions because the line was so long. The 2 workers who were working looked exhausted!

That above writeup was just a taste of what we are all experiencing as business owners. We get a few workers that really buck up and produce like superhero's, but quickly get burnt out and quit because working that hard for many is unsustainable. Rinse and repeat.

I thought it would be a good subject on this forum since many of us have helpers (some full time and some part time) who live this daily. Not only in your business, but in life; an evening out dinner and movie -to- shopping at your local box store. The laborers that do go to work are beat up and burnt out.

To get people back to work to help alleviate the pressure of the few good 'superhero' workers, what do laborers want?

Or am I asking the wrong question(s)?


A common theme I hear from people on the internet and (my thoughts):

  • pay a livable wage (my primitive thinking is you work and prove yourself - increase wages aren't given to the undeserving)
  • shorter work weeks (people want more money to work less - feels like backwards thinking)
  • people in public are rude and mean (I agree! working for the public is vicious)
  • don't treat us like slaves (It's a job. Your manager's job is to make sure you get breaktime allotment and job safety)

It seems like most laborers don't value benefits or promotions anymore. My take is they want to work less, earn more or at least earn an arbitrary livable wage, want no pressure, and don't want to be treated like "slaves".

My post could be off base and come off bitter.

What are your thoughts and opinions on the matter?
 

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Ha. This should be good.

I don't have any employees, but I'm pretty much the example you gave above in terms of my "winter job" at Walmart.
For three and a half years now, I've been praised up and down by management and customers alike for what I do there.
I go above and beyond to help customers and in doing extra work that should have been done by other associates.
Over the last year though, I'm getting REALLY tired of it.
I'll never stop going out of my way to help the customers - it's just the way I'm wired - but when the staffing issue isn't being addressed, and the management doesn't seem concerned that shelves are not being stocked properly, why should I keep working like a fool?

All that said, I'm not one of the ones who thinks I should be getting paid more to do less.
I happen to think they pay most of us more than the work is worth.
 

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As long as it’s easy to get a handout, why would anyone work for it? They won’t and they think they are being smart. What they don’t understand is the handout won’t last forever. When it runs out and it will, the “superhero” employees that worked through all this bs will be far ahead of the bums. The lazy, hands out, entitled people will be complaining about how “unfair” it is that they have to work for minimum wage.

I experience this exact scenario when the “covid” $ dried up. Went from no calls from people looking for jobs to a flood of calls. Well, sorry but I adapted to the poor labor force and I’m not changing now just cuz lazy joe schmoe needs $. Get on down there to McDonalds, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ha. This should be good.

I don't have any employees, but I'm pretty much the example you gave above in terms of my "winter job" at Walmart.
For three and a half years now, I've been praised up and down by management and customers alike for what I do there.
I go above and beyond to help customers and in doing extra work that should have been done by other associates.
Over the last year though, I'm getting REALLY tired of it.
I'll never stop going out of my way to help the customers - it's just the way I'm wired - but when the staffing issue isn't being addressed, and the management doesn't seem concerned that shelves are not being stocked properly, why should I keep working like a fool?

All that said, I'm not one of the ones who thinks I should be getting paid more to do less.
I happen to think they pay most of us more than the work is worth.
Sounds like you fall in the 'superhero' category who is starting to suffer burn out. I bet Walmart would love to find about 1000 more of you. It would make your job much easier, it would make customer experience much better, and could possibly lower prices due to increased efficiency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As long as it’s easy to get a handout, why would anyone work for it? They won’t and they think they are being smart. What they don’t understand is the handout won’t last forever. When it runs out and it will, the “superhero” employees that worked through all this bs will be far ahead of the bums. The lazy, hands out, entitled people will be complaining about how “unfair” it is that they have to work for minimum wage.

I experience this exact scenario when the “covid” $ dried up. Went from no calls from people looking for jobs to a flood of calls. Well, sorry but I adapted to the poor labor force and I’m not changing now just cuz lazy joe schmoe needs $. Get on down there to McDonalds, good luck.
I don't think people are getting free government handouts anymore. Do you have a source?

I do think many parents are housing their 30-something year old kids and telling them they deserve better than the lowly jobs available. My theory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have to think it's a compounding issue from:

1) More Boomers retiring
2) Younger gen found online income (such as creators on tiktok, youtube, onlyfans)
3) Trump's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

I think #3 is understated. According to ice.gov, ICE was arresting 400 undocumented workers per day since 2017. That'll add up to leaving a large hole in the labor market.

Hate to say it, but I think with all the illegal Mexican's flooding the U.S. right now will help the labor shortage.

2016 article and it's much worse now In Texas, undocumented immigrants have no shortage of work
Their compensation often falls below minimum wage. They might receive just $90 for a 14-hour workday, or about $6.42 an hour — and that’s when they do get paid. In Texas, Israel and José have experienced a lot. One thing they say they haven’t seen: U.S. citizens doing the heavy lifting on construction projects.

“We’ve never seen any Americans carrying cement, picking up stone, working from sunup to sundown,” Israel said. “Never.”
 

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I don't think people are getting free government handouts anymore. Do you have a source?

I do think many parents are housing their 30-something year old kids and telling them they deserve better than the lowly jobs available. My theory.
Child tax credit. They give it to you every month instead of at the end of the year. Not too mention, you don’t have to pay taxes to get it now. All the other gov’t bennies are easier to get and more available as well.
 

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At Walmart, I'm not 100% sure what the holdup is on getting positions filled. We've been short staffed in my department and across the store for over a year now, all while holding "job fairs" and posting "WE'RE HIRING" signs outside.

It can't all be "nobody wants to work".
I honestly think much of it is the result of needing to raise wages to keep people from leaving. As soon as the government started paying people to sit at home, all employers had to start offering more - Walmart sure did.
That money has to come from somewhere and there's surely a cap on hiring as a result.

I've said it before - this is just the sped-up result of what the "$15 min wage" supporters can't seem to wrap their heads around. Pretty much all employers are paying $15 and MORE now - and look how well it's working out. (hint: It's not)
 

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Child tax credit. They give it to you every month instead of at the end of the year. Not too mention, you don’t have to pay taxes to get it now. All the other gov’t bennies are easier to get and more available as well.
That's over, it's expired. So we got $500 a month for our two children. Yes it made our lives a little easier, but nobody is living high on the hog on that, especially if you were really waiting for that check. Anybody that's still complaining about that now is disinformed.

Our starting wage is $18 an hour, currently no benefits. We got a part-timer (he didn't want more than 30 hours and prefers 20-25 hours), and only time will tell how it will work out. If he can keep up with our pace he should make our lives easier, and improve our capacity to get more work done, sooner. I don't view him as an expense, but a means to improve work flow and capacity.

I think anyone that has built their business around having a pool of workers desperate enough to accept low wages and poor working conditions is going to have to take a closer look of their own expectations. Nobody owes us their time and labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At Walmart, I'm not 100% sure what the holdup is on getting positions filled. We've been short staffed in my department and across the store for over a year now, all while holding "job fairs" and posting "WE'RE HIRING" signs outside.

It can't all be "nobody wants to work".
I honestly think much of it is the result of needing to raise wages to keep people from leaving. As soon as the government started paying people to sit at home, all employers had to start offering more - Walmart sure did.
That money has to come from somewhere and there's surely a cap on hiring as a result.

I've said it before - this is just the sped-up result of what the "$15 min wage" supporters can't seem to wrap their heads around. Pretty much all employers are paying $15 and MORE now - and look how well it's working out. (hint: It's not)
That's over, it's expired. So we got $500 a month for our two children. Yes it made our lives a little easier, but nobody is living high on the hog on that, especially if you were really waiting for that check. Anybody that's still complaining about that now is disinformed.

Our starting wage is $18 an hour, currently no benefits. We got a part-timer (he didn't want more than 30 hours and prefers 20-25 hours), and only time will tell how it will work out. If he can keep up with our pace he should make our lives easier, and improve our capacity to get more work done, sooner. I don't view him as an expense, but a means to improve work flow and capacity.

I think anyone that has built their business around having a pool of workers desperate enough to accept low wages and poor working conditions is going to have to take a closer look of their own expectations. Nobody owes us their time and labor.
I guess you're both saying that low skilled laborers are working somewhere. Seems like the cool thing for workers nowadays is job hopping.

I can say the same thing about my 21 year old daughter. She finds a good paying job that has flexible hours and she leaves within weeks. I guess I should ask her what the mentality is. Lol.

She quit her last job (which pays damn well) because some girls were talking behind her back. I was like "WUT?!? you're there to work, not make friends!" Her new thing now is she's too broke to work. /facepalm
 

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At Walmart, I'm not 100% sure what the holdup is on getting positions filled. We've been short staffed in my department and across the store for over a year now, all while holding "job fairs" and posting "WE'RE HIRING" signs outside.

It can't all be "nobody wants to work".
I honestly think much of it is the result of needing to raise wages to keep people from leaving. As soon as the government started paying people to sit at home, all employers had to start offering more - Walmart sure did.
That money has to come from somewhere and there's surely a cap on hiring as a result.

I've said it before - this is just the sped-up result of what the "$15 min wage" supporters can't seem to wrap their heads around. Pretty much all employers are paying $15 and MORE now - and look how well it's working out. (hint: It's not)
Based on several people I know, including my wife, that have been submitting resumes and applying for jobs for 2 years, we are all convinced that many of these companies that are posting job adds and signs, aren't really interested in hiring people. Stores and restaurants really need help, but bigger corporate type stuff, I'm not convinced. My old neighbor has been put of work for 2 years. She finally decided she would take a CNA course and see what happens. Granted she has a master's degree and used to run a couple assisted living facilities, up until summer 2020. Her last job was at a large, multistate company, and she discovered how bad it was, compared to a smaller outfit. She inquired at a local hospital that Posted some cna positions. She spent a day there, for free, shadowing people in 3 different departments that said they were needing help. She decided which department she was interested in applying for, and they've been dragging their feet with no responses on the next steps. Yet they are so desperate for help.
 

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Labor issues are caused by numerous factors is my guess: Boomers retiring. Parents letting their kids live at home and mooch until they are 30+ years old, which means they can be much more selective when or where they work. US population growth shrinking. Covid killing off folks and scaring some out of the workforce. Fewer immigrants doing the dirty jobs Americans will not do. Younger generations aren't content working like slaves for little pay and little to no paid time off.
 

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I guess you're both saying that low skilled laborers are working somewhere. Seems like the cool thing for workers nowadays is job hopping.

I can say the same thing about my 21 year old daughter. She finds a good paying job that has flexible hours and she leaves within weeks. I guess I should ask her what the mentality is. Lol.

She quit her last job (which pays damn well) because some girls were talking behind her back. I was like "WUT?!? you're there to work, not make friends!" Her new thing now is she's too broke to work. /facepalm
Who here didn't job hop in their younger years? Back in the early 2000's my employers didn't leave me much choice but to quit to get a pay raise. 3 out of the 4 years of my electrical apprenticeship I had to quit and go to another company to get a raise.

Does any of us want to go back to needing "permission" for time off, waiting for annual reviews for a pay raise, and not being able to say "no" to work they don't want to do? If I don't want a job, I turn it down, or mark it up so high I'm happy to do it. If I need to take a day off I just do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Who here didn't job hop in their younger years? Back in the early 2000's my employers didn't leave me much choice but to quit to get a pay raise. 3 out of the 4 years of my electrical apprenticeship I had to quit and go to another company to get a raise.

Does any of us want to go back to needing "permission" for time off, waiting for annual reviews for a pay raise, and not being able to say "no" to work they don't want to do? If I don't want a job, I turn it down, or mark it up so high I'm happy to do it. If I need to take a day off I just do it.
Sure we all did. But how frequently and to what extent? My first job was lawn care and I earned $3 per hour when I was 14. I worked there an entire mowing season.

My 2nd job was mowing grass and trimming trees at the county fair grounds when I was 15, 16 and 17 for $4.25. I worked there for 3 seasons, It was also seasonal.

I moved out of my moms when I was 17 and got a job at an oil change in Westland, Mi. It paid $7.50 and I worked 68 hours per week! I was making big money for a 17 year old! Enough that me and my girlfriend at the time could afford to rent a finished basement converted into an apartment.

And, because I dropped out of high school, the state of Michigan paid for auto mechanics night classes for me to learn a skilled trade. So I worked 68 hours per week -- 7 days a week AND was committed to night school. I did that for 2 years until I went back and got my high school diploma. Then got a factory UAW job and worked there for like 4 years.

So yes, while I jobbed hopped, it wasn't like working 3 weeks then quit; rinse and repeat. I had some staying power. I took every job as a learning opportunity, but always left on good terms and to better myself. And I remember the guys I worked with did the same thing. I never quit a job because I was "treated like a slave", "too stressful", or "too hard"... It was a different time back then.
 

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Sure we all did. But how frequently and to what extent? My first job was lawn care and I earned $3 per hour when I was 14. I worked there an entire mowing season.

My 2nd job was mowing grass and trimming trees at the county fair grounds when I was 15, 16 and 17 for $4.25. I worked there for 3 seasons, It was also seasonal.

I moved out of my moms when I was 17 and got a job at an oil change in Westland, Mi. It paid $7.50 and I worked 68 hours per week! I was making big money for a 17 year old! Enough that me and my girlfriend at the time could afford to rent a finished basement converted into an apartment.

And, because I dropped out of high school, the state of Michigan paid for auto mechanics night classes for me to learn a skilled trade. So I worked 68 hours per week -- 7 days per week AND when to night school. I did that for 2 years until I went back and got my high school diploma. Then got a factory union job and worked there for like 4 years.

So yes, while I jobbed hopped, it wasn't like working 3 weeks then quit; rinse and repeat. I had some staying power. I took every job as a learning opportunity, but always left on good terms and to better myself. And I remember the guys I worked with did the same thing. I never quit a job because I was "treated like a slave", "too stressful", or "too hard"... It was a different time back then.
Of course it was a different time back then. What decades were you working for those wage rates? Enter those wages into an inflation calculator to get an idea what it should cost adjusted for inflation.
 

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Ha. This should be good.

I don't have any employees, but I'm pretty much the example you gave above in terms of my "winter job" at Walmart.
For three and a half years now, I've been praised up and down by management and customers alike for what I do there.
I go above and beyond to help customers and in doing extra work that should have been done by other associates.
Over the last year though, I'm getting REALLY tired of it.
I'll never stop going out of my way to help the customers - it's just the way I'm wired - but when the staffing issue isn't being addressed, and the management doesn't seem concerned that shelves are not being stocked properly, why should I keep working like a fool?

All that said, I'm not one of the ones who thinks I should be getting paid more to do less.
I happen to think they pay most of us more than the work is worth.
I was in Walmart today and couldn’t believe the way the floor manager was talking to employees. There’s a lot of ppl in management positions thst take their crap out on employees and it’s no wonder ppl are quick to walk away from dead end jobs . My take on all this is that the potential workforce still has the ball in their court. Many places are hiring but i notice while one restaurant in town “can’t find help” … the other one is thriving w plenty of staff …can you guess the difference between the 2 places ???…one treats staff like family & the other treats them as disposable. We also seem to have a spoiled ADULT population that want a lot of services … to the point the demand exceeds the supply. And many young adults w enough motivation to mow lawns all day … go out and do it on their own. I’m personally tired of the “no one wants to work” complaint. If no one wants to work … then why is there an endless demand for over priced goods and services ?? The $ is flowing and ppl do work for it … but in turn they want to spend it on luxury services that ppl in the past used to do themselves & because many ppl are working more then 40 hours a week … home services are in even higher demand since many homeowners are working too much to take care of basic home maintenance.
either way When it comes to landscaping our industry has an additional challenge being seasonal. And it’s the main reason employees don’t stay.
 

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I don't think people are getting free government handouts anymore. Do you have a source?

I do think many parents are housing their 30-something year old kids and telling them they deserve better than the lowly jobs available. My theory.
Our city is paying people $1000 a month hoping that keeps them from going homeless. Pilot program but I bet it will be expanded.
 
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