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Archive for February, 2014

Minimum Wage Momentum

According to a national review by The Associated Press, at least 30 states are sponsoring or are expected to introduce wage hike measures. As of Jan. 1, 2014, twenty-one states and Washington D.C. have minimum wage rates above the $7.25 federal minimum wage rate. Nineteen states, Guam, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands have minimum wage rates the same as the federal minimum wage. Four states and American Samoa have minimum wage rates below the federal minimum wage (therefore the federal minimum applies).  Five states have not established a state minimum wage.

 Minimum wage continues to be a hot issue in the states for the 2014 legislative session. Thirteen states and five local municipalities increased their minimum wage effective January 1, 2014.  Ten states have tied their minimum wages to the index, guaranteeing that they rise with the cost of living each year. Other states, such as New Jersey and Connecticut, passed legislation in 2013 that will nominally raise their minimum wages. 

 Delaware has already passed a law in the 2014 session increasing their minimum wage to $7.75 an hour, effective June 1, 2014, and to $8.25 effective June 1, 2015. D.C. has passed a bill this session to increase the District’s minimum wage; the bill is under review in Congress.

 In Iowa, a bill would hike the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. A Rhode Island bill would raise it from $8 to $9.  And a year after New York approved a multiyear minimum wage hike, another bill was introduced for 2014 that would accelerate the increase.

 Washington state and the District of Columbia will increase their minimum wages rate to $11.50 by 2016 and there is legislation pending in Washington state for another increase to $12.00.   Two states have legislation pending to increase the minimum wage up to or over $10.00 and another two states have legislation pending to increase the minimum wage up to or over $11.00.

 As of Feb. 24, 2014; the following states have bills that are pending regarding state minimum wage increases (includes active carry-over bills from 2013): CA, DC, GA, HI, IL, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, RI, TN, UT, VA, WA, WV

 Follow this link http://www.wagewatch.com/resources/Minimum%20Wage%20Chart.xlsx to the WageWatch Federal and State Minimum Wage Chart with details of state and local minimum wage and pending increases.

WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with over 7,000 properties in its database. WageWatch also consults routinely with management companies on their pay structures and pay rates. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 26th, 2014 · Comments Off on Minimum Wage Momentum

WAGEWATCH 2014 LODGING WAGE AND EMPLOYMENT FORECAST

The WageWatch 2014 survey of over 5,200 hotels nationwide disclosed planned pay raises for hourly employees and non-exempt salaried employees averaging 2.8% with a median of 3.0% and a mode of 3.0%. The annual survey completed on February 15, 2014, further disclosed that hotels are planning on the same level of pay raises for their salaried exempt employees, with a mean of 2.8%, median of 3.0% and a mode of 3.0%. The range reported for non-exempt employees was a high of 3.5% to a low of 2.5%. Exempt employees had a slightly broader range of 4.5% down to 2.0%. Randy Pullen, President and CEO of WageWatch stated, “The planned pay raises are the same for this year as they were for 2013 and 2012. For now, it appears pay raises are stable. This could change if the federal minimum wage is increased to $10.10; especially for the focused service and economy service hotels.”

 If the planned wage increases for 2014 are broken out between full service hotels and economy or focused service hotels, the survey discloses that full service hotels will, in general, have slightly higher pay increases.  Full service hotels participating in the 2014 survey disclosed an average planned pay raise of 2.9% for exempt and non-exempt employees, with a median and mode of 3.0%. Focused and economy service hotels had a slightly lower average pay raise for both exempt and non-exempt employees of 2.8% with a median and mode of 3.0%. 

 Randy Pullen also stated, “As we reported last year, while hotel companies are planning on pay raises on average of between 2.8% and 3.0%, it is likely that actual wage increases that will be reported later this year by WageWatch in its 2014 hotel wage survey will be two tenths of a percent less than the forecast.  We saw a similar trend last year where actual wage increases for the lodging industry as reported in our iBrief Blog last week.   (http://ibrief.wagewatch.com/).

 LODGING INDUSTRY 2014 EMPLOYMENT FORECAST

For 2013, WageWatch had forecast employment growth seasonally adjusted on average of 25,000 jobs for the Lodging Industry. The numbers came in much stronger with an increase on average of 35,900 jobs as reported in the Accommodations segment of the Leisure and Hospitality super sector as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of February 11, 2014. A month by month comparison of employment change for 2012 in blue and 2013 in red are presented in the following graph. 

graph Emplmnt Chg 2013 

The much stronger job growth in 2013 vs. 2012 is attributed to a strong financial year for the Lodging Industry, which was driven by the strong second half GDP growth of 3.7% in the U.S. Our forecast for last year of a 25,000 increase in employment was based in part on the PKF Hospitality Research, LLC’s national econometric forecast of the U.S. Lodging markets for 2013. Actual performance for 2013 was better than forecast by PKF, with 62% occupancy and an increase in REVPAR of 4.0%. 

 Looking ahead to 2014, most economists are forecasting GDP growth of 2.7% to 3.0%. This would be a continuation of the increases experience in the second half of last year. For the Lodging Industry, PKF is forecasting an increase in occupancy to 62.9% and an increase in REVPAR of 4.3%. This would seem to indicate a continued trend of strong employment growth for the Lodging Industry.  However, we are approaching the Lodging Industry employment highs reached in late 2007 and early 2008. WageWatch forecasts that employment growth will flatten in the Lodging Industry in 2014 averaging about 17,500. This forecast could be low if the trend in the increase of part time jobs continues.  WageWatch will survey and report on the part time job trend in the Lodging Industry next month.  

 WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with over 7,000 properties in its database. WageWatch also consults routinely with management companies on their pay structures and pay rates. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20th, 2014 · Comments Off on WAGEWATCH 2014 LODGING WAGE AND EMPLOYMENT FORECAST

U.S. LODGING INDUSTRY 2013 SALARY GROWTH REMAINS STRONG

The U.S. lodging industry continued to experience strong increases in both salary and hourly wages last year. As reported by WageWatch in its PeerMark™ Wage Survey of over 4,900 hotels for 2013, wage and salary increases were reported as 2.7% for the year, which was comparable to the increases in 2012 of 2.6%, and twice the annual increase of 1.4% in 2011. There was no statistical difference in wage increases for limited or select service hotels and for full service hotels in the survey.

 The survey data for 2013 hourly wage positions indicated an increase of 2.7% for the year, while salaried positions received a slightly higher increase of 2.8%. The President of WageWatch, Randy Pullen, stated, “The .1% difference most likely reflects the higher turnover rate reported for hourly positions as compared to salaried positions. The starting rate is typically 10% to 15% less than the average paid.”

 When compared to the WageWatch Wage and Employment Forecast for 2013, released in January of 2013, the actual increases were slightly less than the forecasts of 2.8% for hourly wage positions and 3.0% for salaried positions. Mr. Pullen commented, “As stated in the 2013 Forecast, we anticipated that the actual increases for 2013 would be two or three tenths of a percent less than the forecast.”

Employment growth in the lodging industry as reported in the seasonally adjusted Accommodations segment of the Leisure and Hospitality super sector, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was also strong. Job growth in 2013 was a continuation of growth experienced in 2012 as the lodging industry continued its strong financial rebound from the recession.

 Employment in Accommodations segment declined for 23 months in a row from September 2008 until June 2010. Since then, employment had increased every month until it flattened out last summer at between 1,865,000 and 1,870,000 jobs. Employment growth appears to be tapering off as the Lodging Industry approaches it 2008 highs of 1,880,000 to 1885,000 jobs.

 The increase in employment for 2013 over 2012 was substantial, averaging 35,000 to 40,000 jobs per month.  This was significantly better than forecasted by WageWatch which had forecasted a monthly increase in employment in the Accommodations segment on average of 20,000 jobs. The stronger job growth is attributed to the better than expected financial performance of the Lodging Industry during 2013 as reported by PKF Hospitality Research, LLC and Smith Travel Research.

 WageWatch will release its Lodging Wage and Salary Forecast for 2014 next week.

 WageWatch, Inc. is the leading compensation survey provider for the lodging and gaming industries with 6,000 properties participating in its PeerMark™ Wage Survey. WageWatch also conducts compensation surveys for other business and industry segments including healthcare and non-profits. The PeerMark™ Wage Survey is the only Web-based custom survey tool that allows individual survey participants to select their competitive set for comparison purposes.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 13th, 2014 · Comments Off on U.S. LODGING INDUSTRY 2013 SALARY GROWTH REMAINS STRONG

Mindfulness: Embraced by Businesses

In a world where multitasking and information overload are the norm, an old idea, Mindfulness, is becoming increasingly appealing to organizations who are effectively applying it to their businesses.  Mindfulness is training the mind to focus. Our ability to concentrate is seriously compromised the more we multitask. And technology, though useful to us in so many ways has actually impeded our ability to concentrate or to be mindful of what matters moment by moment. If you would like to investigate further for your organization or for yourself, Psychology Today has an overview of the practice (http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness) on their website.

 Many Fortune 500 and other organizations are embracing and promoting mindfulness for their workforce.  Business schools are beginning to teach mindfulness and it is included in many MBA programs. In the workplace, mindfulness is a skill that aids concentration, clarity and equanimity.  Present moment awareness keeps your mind from dwelling on the past or obsessing on the future.  Becoming more aware of what is going on around you allows us to be fully focused on the task at hand and more likely to spot opportunities. Mindfulness also makes us more conscious of what is going on within us, helping to identify and remove subconscious thinking that can be obstacles to success. Mindfulness also enhances creativity, innovation, and improves the brain’s ability to process information.  So it is not surprising that more and more corporations are embracing mindfulness as a business practice.

 To be mindful is to be awake, to be conscious, to be aware and to appreciate the impact of one’s actions. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly witnessing one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment.  Mindfulness is a 2,500 year old tradition of Eastern Cultures that now is considered a science of the mind.  Many consider mindfulness to have its origins Buddhism; however, it can be traced back more than 2,500 years ago, when Hindus practiced a range of meditations, which included mindfulness.

 It may be time to consider mindfulness, as a business skill.  Extensive research has been done over the last 15 years that show mindfulness is linked to psychological and physical, health. It decreases blood pressure, regulates the heart, increases the immune function, and enhances memory.  It essentially, rewires our brain.  The idea that increasing mindfulness may lead to better decision-making deserves attention.

At WageWatch our compensation consultants are focused on your organization’s compensation needs and ready to help you ensure that your compensation programs are supporting your company’s business strategy and objectives. WageWatch also offers accurate, up-to-date benefit surveys, salary surveys and pay practices data that will allow you to stay current with the times. This information is highly beneficial in creating the best salary and benefits packages that meet or rival the industry standards. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online .

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5th, 2014 · Comments Off on Mindfulness: Embraced by Businesses