The local Coastal Resiliency Coalition, an organization focused on community development and environmental preservation, has recently been evaluating the impact of labor demand in the hospitality and entertainment industry on wages. Conducted by the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business, pilot study findings indicate that base wages in certain positions could rise as much as a dollar per year, with many employees earning $20.73/hour in 2020.
With the recent boom in the industries, jobs like housekeeping, front desk attendance, supervising, and others are in high demand. The study indicated that many locals already in the industry are using the increased demand to leverage themselves for jobs with better wages. The demand is encouraging businesses to offer higher wages and benefits to find qualified workers and reduce employee turnover rates.
While the initial study was small, the management professor who conducted the study, David Turnipseed, believes that the findings are likely representative of the larger local market. Pay increases were noted in all industries and across 15 of the 17 types of jobs evaluated in the survey.
If the trend accurately represents the economy and continues, the outcome could be problematic for businesses in South Baldwin County in the future. Among the potential outcomes, businesses could be forced to drive up prices to cover their operating costs. In October, the Coalition and the University of South Alabama, along with two Chamber of Commerces in the area, will conduct a more thorough study for planning purposes.
Presently, the boom in the hospitality and entertainment industries in the area means that many front desk clerks and others are earning an average of $15.92/hour, which is a 25% increase from 2010’s average of $12.71/hour. With more purchasing power and the ability to find increasingly better jobs, many employees are also finding additional benefits from the uptick in demand, like vacation time and insurance.
Tourism in the area has been on the rise in the past few years, making Gulf Shores a great place to visit, live, work, and play. With the future opening of a new campus for the University of South Florida in Gulf Shores, we expect our tourism industry to continue on a path of growth and innovation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the great opportunities for real estate in this high demand market, contact the team at Kris L. Powell and Associates. We’d be happy to tell you more about the community and real estate opportunities that are currently available.