Low Unemployment + High Wages = No Manager

As I have stated many times previously, here in Western Australia unemployment is low (now 2.8% and the lowest in Australia), wages have gone through the roof thanks to the obsene amounts being paid in the mining industry.

Late last year I lost my manager who suddenly decided he couldn’t face one more day in the food industry and then phoned me to resign. I told him face to face he was gutless the way he did and our past cohesive and friendly relationship exploded in a drunken rage from him. I patted him on the shoulder and told him he should do what all alcoholics do and that is go home and get on the p1ss. Probably the first time inhis life he has been told to his face he is an alcoholic. In the end of the day no great loss (for various reasons that came to light after he left).

I then promoted my 18 year old manager in training to store manager for a 3 month trial period after he showed great initiative and maturity for his age towards the position. All was going great. Gave him a pay increase with the promise of a substantial one after the trial period, plus giving him a tax free $50 fuel allowance per week.

Then I get a phone call from a past employee who was returning to Australia after going back to the UK for 12 months. Gave her a start without hesitation as a fulltime pizza maker.

Comes the crunch 2 days later with the new trialing manager giving me written 2 weeks notice of leaving to work in the mining industry. He will be earning $1,2000 per week after tax, which is exceptionally good for an 18 year old, plus they will be offering him an apprenticeship as a heavy haulage earthmoving mechanic. As a tradesman on the minesites he would be looking at a minimum of $2,000+ per week.

With unemployment in our state at a 33 year low at 2.8% and wages going through the roof in every industry as businesses try to keep staff the probability of me getting a manager is all but gone.

Thankfully I have my 25 year old daughter working for me and she is opening and closing 2 days a week so at least for the time being I am getting some time off. Unfortunately she is off to your land in May to be a team leader at a Camp America somewhere in Maine or Vermont areas, and then travelling up the east cost and through Canada with my wife for 4 weeks afterwards. On returning to Australia she will be moving interstate where my son and daughter now live.

With any luck the US recession will stifle our monetary system a bit to bring balance and sensibility back into the workforce and then I can get a manager again.

Strong robust ecomomies are great for consumer spending but are hell for small business operators to get and retain staff.

Daddio is well aware of the situation we are facing as Canada are enjoying a resources boom.

I only wish we had your wage levels and the amounts of people looking for and taking on jobs such as we have in our industry. Our wage bill has increased 20% in the past 4 months as I increase hourly rates just to maintain my staff. Drivers are now getting $13 per hour plus delivery fee of $2, $2.50 or $3.50 depending on area delivered to.

Domino’s are now paying $15 but no delivery fee if you keep tips or $18 and no tips. Our drivers are averaging $20 per hour.

And what am I taking home after all the hours I’m doing ???

Oh the joys of owning a pizza shop in Australia.


Recruiting managers and good staff is an issue for all of us but boy that’s gotta be tough with such low unemployment and silly pay rates.

One thing I have seen in the press/tv is how proud Austria is of its strict immigration system. Its obviously not that clever if it can;t help the demand/supply problems you have in your labour market.

At least there’s one thing going for you - you don’t have two stores!

I hate our labour market but I’m sure feeling for you in yours!

Good luck!

Austria, Australia. It’s all the same, right? :lol:

I know, it was a typo…

Tough story and situation to be sure. I would assume prices are also moving so your margins are not an issue? Reminds of something someone told me many, many years ago. Never complain about to much business because there is nothing worse than sitting there waiting for desperately needed customers. I am always thankful for busy times and even overworked times because there is nothing more gut wrenching than working your head off and then worrying your head off as well because there is not enough business to pay the bills.

In such circumstances as you have described have you thought about reducing your operating hours to the most profitable periods? Is there a slow day where you would be better off saving your available labor by closing?


I would love to come and help you out but the government there wouldn’t let an old grey haired fart like me get a work permit. I have suggested to one of my staff, who will be spending the next 2 or 3 months down there, she should look you up. She said not likely because she is staying in Sidney.

I tried to send you some good staff. :lol:

Old Fart? i thought Nick was the elder one here. :smiley:

No that aging hippie was still in nappies when the real old grey haired fart, ME, was preparing to collect the pension.

At entering the industry 2 years ago at 54 years young I think I would go down as the oldest beginner in the industry.

Guess my age now. Clue: I have aged tenfold in the last 2 years. :?


Can I take off my shoes and use toes and fingers to count?

Yikes!! I hope not. I only passed two score years recently. Fingers and toes twice. I figured Dave to be 86 or something.