Question: What is the employment situation like where you are?

Bodhisattva

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Aug 22, 2001
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My wife and I, for a variety of reasons, have been going out to dinner a lot more lately than usual. Some of it is that we've been extra busy and we don't feel like cooking that much. Also, now that my Mom lives nearby, I visit her 2-3 times a week and take her for her favorite meal: steak and potatoes. And, at least as important, my wife and I want to support local restaurants that suffered serious financial damage in the last year.

One thing we have noticed is that every restaurant is understaffed and begging for more employees. Help wanted signs are everywhere. Some restaurants have limited hours or limited days due to a lack of cooks. Some can't accommodate take-out requests due to a lack of staff. Waitresses are also bussing their tables due to lack of staff. Menus are limited. Etc. Etc. Every manager I've spoken to about this says they can't get enough of their former employees to come back.

Anyone else witnessing something similar? We have relatively high unemployment, but a tremendous number of unfilled jobs.
 
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uafanataum

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Oct 18, 2014
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My wife and I, for a variety of reasons, have been going out to dinner a lot more lately than usual. Some of it is that we've been extra busy and we don't feel like cooking that much. Also, now that my Mom lives nearby, I visit her 2-3 times a week and take her for her favorite meal: steak and potatoes. And, at least as important, my wife and I want to support local restaurants that suffered serious financial damage in the last year.

One thing we have noticed is that every restaurant is understaffed and begging for more employees. Help wanted signs are everywhere. Some restaurants have limited hours or limited days due to a lack of cooks. Some can't accommodate take-out requests due to a lack of staff. Waitresses are also bussing their tables due to lack of staff. Menus are limited. Etc. Etc. Every manager I've spoken to about this says they can't get enough of their former employees to come back.

Anyone else witnessing something similar? We have relatively high unemployment, but a tremendous number of unfilled jobs.
There have been articles about this on AL.com and a few other sites. The restaurant industry laid off millions of employees during the pandemic. Not all of them are still on unemployment. I know several retailers and warehouses stole a good number of employees that had been restaurant workers before the quarantine. I have seen signs at some retailers offering double the minimum wage starting off. A few years ago retailers might have been paying 1-2 dollars over minimum wage. This might be tough on businesses but when employers compete the employees win.
 

TIDE-HSV

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Oct 13, 1999
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Huntsville, AL,USA
My wife and I, for a variety of reasons, have been going out to dinner a lot more lately than usual. Some of it is that we've been extra busy and we don't feel like cooking that much. Also, now that my Mom lives nearby, I visit her 2-3 times a week and take her for her favorite meal: steak and potatoes. And, at least as important, my wife and I want to support local restaurants that suffered serious financial damage in the last year.

One thing we have noticed is that every restaurant is understaffed and begging for more employees. Help wanted signs are everywhere. Some restaurants have limited hours or limited days due to a lack of cooks. Some can't accommodate take-out requests due to a lack of staff. Waitresses are also bussing their tables due to lack of staff. Menus are limited. Etc. Etc. Every manager I've spoken to about this says they can't get enough of their former employees to come back.

Anyone else witnessing something similar? We have relatively high unemployment, but a tremendous number of unfilled jobs.
Well, here, companies are begging for employees at $15 per hour and up, mostly up. They are advertising on TV. They're trying to staff up the Toyota/Mazda plant, starting around $17. Then, yesterday, Amazon announced its third distribution center in the state here, starting out with 500 jobs, same story on the wages. I know this is a job-rich area, but I suspect the situation is somewhat similar in other areas. With decent hours and that kind of wage, why would anyone in his right mind go back to the food trades, with the hours and where no one makes that kind of money except in a few top-dollar restaurants? And, yes, I'm very familiar with the food trades...
 

Crimson1967

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Nov 22, 2011
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I travel a good bit for work, mostly in the Atlanta area. I have also noticed a lack of staff and servers having to cover more space than normal. Some fast food places are still drive through or carry out only.
 

Toddrn

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Nov 29, 2006
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Woodstock, Ga
Same here. Lots of fast food places are short. I believe you will see some of them never reopen their inside dining. They can save a lot of money that way. Also, I was told that a large floor manufacturer will hire you without a drug test. That shows you how bad things are.
 

92tide

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May 9, 2000
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East Point, Ga, USA
Well, here, companies are begging for employees at $15 per hour and up, mostly up. They are advertising on TV. They're trying to staff up the Toyota/Mazda plant, starting around $17. Then, yesterday, Amazon announced its third distribution center in the state here, starting out with 500 jobs, same story on the wages. I know this is a job-rich area, but I suspect the situation is somewhat similar in other areas. With decent hours and that kind of wage, why would anyone in his right mind go back to the food trades, with the hours and where no one makes that kind of money except in a few top-dollar restaurants? And, yes, I'm very familiar with the food trades...
there was an article in the ajc yesterday about the chicken processing plants in n. georgia not being able to find enough workers. of course, the owners/managers were whining about lazy workers getting unemployment and not working. they didn't seem to grasp the hellscape that their plants are for workers (made even worse by covid) and how that compares to all of the other jobs that are currently available.
 

T Bone

1st Team
I live in a heavy tourist area of upstate NY, (southern adirondacks/lake george) restaurants are on limited schedules, the amusement park cant fully staff, stores and other business entities are begging for employees. If you go out to dinner, expect to be there awhile they and everyone else are short staffed.
 

UAH

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Nov 27, 2017
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there was an article in the ajc yesterday about the chicken processing plants in n. georgia not being able to find enough workers. of course, the owners/managers were whining about lazy workers getting unemployment and not working. they didn't seem to grasp the hellscape that their plants are for workers (made even worse by covid) and how that compares to all of the other jobs that are currently available.
There was a heavy Hispanic population involved in the poultry and meat processing plants in Alabama and across the mid-west now with all of the Trump furor over immigration it has become difficult to staff any of these type jobs. Food prices head skyward and we are stumped as to why that is. Oh I know lets just send all of that to China for processing. That way we can assure sanitation and high quality food production! Not!
 

CrimsonNagus

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Jun 6, 2007
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This is not surprising at all. The food industry has some of the worse paying jobs out there and they work you to death. There are plenty of jobs available right now in other areas that pay more, have better benefits and better hours, so of course the worse jobs are going to be the last to recover. Maybe it is time the restaurant industry rethink how it handles employees in this country.
 

92tide

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May 9, 2000
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East Point, Ga, USA
This is not surprising at all. The food industry has some of the worse paying jobs out there and they work you to death. There are plenty of jobs available right now in other areas that pay more, have better benefits and better hours, so of course the worse jobs are going to be the last to recover. Maybe it is time the restaurant industry rethink how it handles employees in this country.
food processing (especially meat) too.
 

92tide

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East Point, Ga, USA
I just want to know where all the robots are that everyone said would take over if the minimum wage hit $15? Everyone around here is paying that and more and so far no robots
it's almost like mba programs over the past 3-4 decades had no case studies dealing with tight labor markets.

maybe they should add a lean six sigma nth degree black belt for that.
 
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DzynKingRTR

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Dec 17, 2003
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Given the choice and how low the pay and how little owners think of employees as evidenced by their poor treatment, would any of us work in the restaurant or food processing industries? I know I wouldn't. Owners are reaping what they have sown.
I have never worked in a restaurant in my life. I knew I wouldn't last very long even if I did.


I have only had 3 non-office jobs in my lifetime and one of them was for 3 days.
 
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CrimsonNagus

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The closest thing to the food industry I've worked was the concession stand at an AMC Theater. I was fresh out of film school and between jobs and needed something. They hired me making it sound like I would get to help operate and maintain the projectors (they liked my film school background). The mostly stuck me with bathroom and concession duty, was never even shown the projectors.

Working the concession stand sucked. I was never fast enough for my managers or the guest. Guest would change their minds and get mad that I brought what they originally asked for and couldn't read their minds to know that wanted to change something. They'd get mad at prices, because I was they one that set all the prices. Claiming I over charged them when they kid had walked off with a drink already that they are now saying they didn't get. I may have grown to just deal with all that nonsense but, this I could never get use too... management never backed up their employees, always sides with the rude guest.

That has been the only job I quit by just never showing up again and never informing management. Paychecks were handed out at the box office window so, I just snuck up one day, got my last check and never went back.
 

TIDE-HSV

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Oct 13, 1999
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Huntsville, AL,USA
The closest thing to the food industry I've worked was the concession stand at an AMC Theater. I was fresh out of film school and between jobs and needed something. They hired me making it sound like I would get to help operate and maintain the projectors (they liked my film school background). The mostly stuck me with bathroom and concession duty, was never even shown the projectors.

Working the concession stand sucked. I was never fast enough for my managers or the guest. Guest would change their minds and get mad that I brought what they originally asked for and couldn't read their minds to know that wanted to change something. They'd get mad at prices, because I was they one that set all the prices. Claiming I over charged them when they kid had walked off with a drink already that they are now saying they didn't get. I may have grown to just deal with all that nonsense but, this I could never get use too... management never backed up their employees, always sides with the rude guest.

That has been the only job I quit by just never showing up again and never informing management. Paychecks were handed out at the box office window so, I just snuck up one day, got my last check and never went back.
That's probably the way most quit... :)