A millionaire property developer has issued a brutal wake-up call to ‘arrogant’ workers, saying the unemployment rate needs to rise by 40 to 50 per cent.
Gurner Group CEO Tim Gurner, 40, argued the Covid pandemic had changed the attitude many workers had towards their jobs.
The Rich Lister said employees needed to remember they worked for their bosses – not the other way around.
‘We need to see pain in the economy,’ Mr Gurner told the Australian Financial Review’s Property Summit on Tuesday.
‘We need to remind people they work for the employer, not the other way around.’
A 50 per cent rise in the current 3.7 per cent unemployment rate to 5.6 per cent, would see, 275,000 Australians lose their job.
Tim Gurner, the 40-year-old CEO of Gurner Group, said the Covid pandemic had changed the attitude many had towards their jobs
‘We need to see pain in the economy,’ Mr Gurner told the Australian Financial Review’s Property Summit on Tuesday
The Reserve Bank is expecting a 4.5 per cent jobless rate by late 2024.
Mr Gurner took particular aim at tradies claiming productivity had dipped since the Covid pandemic.
‘People decided they didn’t really want to work so much through Covid and that has had a massive issue on productivity,’ he said.
‘Tradies have definitely pulled back on productivity. They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years, and we need to see that change.’
A major issue in the workforce was employees feeling that their bosses were ‘extremely lucky’ to have them, Mr Gurner added.
He said that mindset needed to change noting many industries were already making major lay-offs, which was already helping to shift the ‘arrogance’ some workers had.
‘People are definitely laying people off and we’re starting to see less arrogance in the employment market and that has to continue because that will cascade across the costs balance,’ he said.
Mr Gurner runs a company which has a development and management portfolio worth $9.5billion.
This year he came in at 192 on the Rich 250 list, with an estimated net worth of $677million.
Mr Gurner made headlines back in 2017 when he told 60 Minutes that millennials had unrealistic spending habits and famously suggested they stop eating smashed avocado if they wanted to buy a house.
‘When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,’ he said.
‘The expectations of younger people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day, they want travel to Europe every year.
‘This generation is watching The Kardashians and thinking that’s normal – thinking owning a Bentley is normal.’
Mr Gurner famously caused controversy in 2017 when he said millennials needed to stop wasting money on smashed avocado if they wanted to buy a home
His comments caused outrage among Generation Y, with many claiming Mr Gurner was only successful because his grandfather lent him $34,000 for his first investment.
The multi-millionaire hit back, claiming it was ‘incorrect’ he had help getting on the property market.
His first investment property was a flat purchased by his boss for $180,000 in Melbourne’s St Kilda.
He said he was offered to carry out renovations while his boss forked out the money.
‘I spent every night on my hands and knees sanding back the floors, painting, renovating and working on the house. When we sold it, I used the small profits of $12,000 to purchase my next property and it all grew from there,’ he said.
‘I sacrificed a huge amount through those years, working multiple jobs, seven days a week and I saved absolutely every penny that I could.’
He said he used the $12,000 – plus a $34,000 loan from his grandfather – to borrow $150,000 to buy a gym, which he renovated and turned into a thriving business.
He ran the gym for 12 months before selling it to a competitor and starting his career as a property developer, founding his company Gurner in 2013.
Mr Gurner’s company had a property portfolio of just under $10billion