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.