Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 40

SMALL BUSINESS

 3-MINUTE READING TIME

WORKERS

Labor Day:
A holiday for the
American worker,
not for
misguided
policy.
by ALFREDO ORTIZ

T

HIS MONDAY IS LABOR
Day - a federal holiday that celebrates
t he
cont r ibut ion s
that the American
worker has made to
society. However, in recent years, the
day has been hijacked by a movement pursuing activist populism over
well-thought-out policy.
Groups like Fight for 15 use the holiday
to advocate for minimum wage hikes
and, more specifically, raising it to $15 an
hour. While supporters of the movement
may have good intentions of increasing
the take-home pay for entry-level workers, the policy will only work to increase
the likelihood of layoffs, underemployment and business closings.
One of the cities that has become a
defacto experimental ground for raising
the entry-level wage is Seattle, where
the mandated government wage began
to rise in 2015 and will continue to do so
until hitting $15 an hour in 2018. Even
though the city's current minimum
wage stands shy of $15 an hour, workers
have already begun to feel the negative
ramifications.
According to a study from the
University of Washington, the current $13 minimum wage has resulted
in employers being forced to reduce
employee hours by 9 percent. To put that

into perspective, that's a loss of 3.5 million working hours every three months
for Seattle's minimum wage employees.
This comes as no surprise. Businesses
in Seattle are already under a lot of financial stress from federal, local and state
taxes. In fact, hotel owners in particular pay a tax of 15.6 percent in the city.
So when the price of labor artificially
rises, business and franchise owners are
forced to make a difficult decision. They
must either cut staff and reduce hours or
shut down operations altogether.
Supporters of raising the minimum
wage often predict that pay lost from
reduced hours will be offset by an
increased wage for the hours that are
worked. But while wages in Seattle
did increase by 3 percent, the takehome pay for Seattle workers earning
the new minimum wage decreased by
$125 per month.
It's obvious that artificially dumping
more financial stress onto employers
for the supposed benefit of employees
helps neither party. Policymakers should
instead focus on addressing a problem
that plagues both workers and employers: the skills gap.
According to the Department of Labor,
there are 6 million unfilled job openings in the U.S., and employers are
desperate to fill them. Even though the
unemployment rate is low, there are still

4 0  | SEPTEMBER 2017 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

1.7 million Americans who are long-term
unemployed and another 5.2 million that
are underemployed due to economic reasons that could fill these jobs-allowing
these businesses to operate and innovate at full capacity.
But there's one problem. A traditional
college education is not equipping students with the necessary skills to fill
these positions. In fact, only 11 percent of
business leaders agree that college graduates are prepared for the workforce. And
more specifically, nearly half of small
business owners - which includes many
hotel franchises - report they are having
trouble finding qualified job applicants.
So instead of harming employees and
businesses by raising the minimum
wage, let's equip workers with the necessary hard-skills to fill the open positions - many of them paying $50,000
or more per year. This means incentivizing young people to attend vocational
or technical schools, rather than traditional four-year institutions. That way
wages can naturally increase and businesses can operate at full capacity.
During this Labor Day, let's focus on
policies that will advance workers in this
country instead of pursuing initiatives
that will harm them.
■
Alfredo Ortiz is the president and CEO of
the Job Creators Network.


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - September 2017

Our National Parks: Still Beautiful but in Need of Repairs
Sustainability Steadily Becoming Part of Lodging Industry Dna
Energy Efficiency Good for Wallet – and Guests
Aahoa Interview
Technology
There’s More to Led Conversions Than Just Cost Savings
Case Study
Aahoa Interview
Small Business
Housekeeping
Property Taxes
Leadership
Marketing
Finance q&a
Back of the House
Final Thoughts
Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
Aahoa Founding Members
Aahoa @ Industry
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - intro
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 3
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 4
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 5
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 6
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 7
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 8
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 9
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 11
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 13
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Our National Parks: Still Beautiful but in Need of Repairs
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 15
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Sustainability Steadily Becoming Part of Lodging Industry Dna
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 17
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 18
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 19
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 20
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 21
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Energy Efficiency Good for Wallet – and Guests
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 23
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 24
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 25
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa Interview
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 27
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 28
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 29
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 31
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - There’s More to Led Conversions Than Just Cost Savings
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 33
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 34
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 35
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Case Study
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 37
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa Interview
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 39
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 41
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Housekeeping
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 43
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Property Taxes
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 45
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 47
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 48
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 49
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 51
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 52
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 53
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Finance q&a
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 55
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 57
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 58
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 59
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa Founding Members
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 61
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Aahoa @ Industry
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 63
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 64
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 66
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 67
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 68
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 69
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 70
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 71
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 72
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 73
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 74
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - Final Thoughts
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 77
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - 78
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - September 2017 - cover4
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