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.
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.