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How Much are Hotels Increasing Wage Rates this Year?

Veteese Hobbs
Posted by Veteese Hobbs on January 29, 2020

WageWatch has surveyed companies with a total of 5,200 hotels in the U.S. about their planned pay rate increases for their employees this year.

Here's what they found:

  • On average, hotels will be giving their employees a pay rate increase of 2.8% this year
  • The median pay rate increase is 3.0%.  This implies that some hotels in the survey must be holding wage rates fairly flat to pull down the overall average down to 2.8%.
  • Both salaried and hourly employees are expected to receive exactly the same level of pay increases.  This is surprising given that management salaries have historically risen at a faster rate than line level employees.
  • For hourly employees, the pay rate increases are in a very narrow band between 2.5% and 3.5%
  • For salaried employees, the pay rate increases are in a much wider band varying between 2.0% and 4.5%

We always advise hotels to stay competitive with pay rates in their local market.  The labor market for hotels is heating up as unemployment is dropping and new hotel supply is starting to come online, as they will be looking to pick off experienced employees.

Two quick reminders:

  1. Keep your labor plan wages up-to-date:  Whenever you adjust wage rates for positions, please make the appropriate adjustments in the wage rates in your hotels' labor plans.
  2. Control your labor costs through better scheduling, not through lower wages:  To help compensate for increasing wage rates, it is more important than ever to focus on managing hours and productivity.  The best possible tool for doing this is our Hotel Effectiveness Scheduler.  It provides your managers with a repeatable process to schedule the right number of hours for every position for every day.