Eye opening article about Orlando wages.

  • hopemax

    Note to Self:
    Joined
    Apr 1, 2000
    How does Orlando keep attracting works in a tight labor market paying so little?
    Many of Disney's workers are "imported." On one hand you have the College Program, and not subject to the Union contracts. It works for the kids because they can be subsidized by their families back home, while reaping the benefits of a fun time and college credit and a line on a resume that still seems like a positive. On the other, Disney runs job hiring programs throughout the Caribbean, and I think even in Western African nations. There have been stories floating around 5-7 Haitian workers living in 2 bedroom apartments, and working shifts opposite each other. If you are Haitian, and you have a chance to work in America would you do it? Puerto Rico is also a popular hiring location, because they are US citizens. I'm sure after the devastation from the hurricanes, it is even more alluring to be given an opportunity to work on the mainland.

    Since Disney has the ability to pull more from those pools, it means local Orlando wages don't react under the same supply vs demand that people assume would apply.
     

    tzeitel

    Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2008
    I got hired on the first recruiting trip WDW made to PR in '98 - they were so surprised we could speak English! Anyway, I was hired at $5.75 an hour and I got a really nice 1 bedroom apartment in Kissimmee (20 minutes from my location at the BW) for $500 a month. I was not able to save anything and had no furniture except a mattress and box spring on the floor of the bedroom. My mom got me a TV for Christmas that year, for which I am eternally grateful. I just checked my old complex and the same apt is now $975, so I would be basically in the same spot (if it was just me). At 3 years my pay shot up to $8.75 and I thought I was rich ;)

    It is not just in central FL. Where I live now a 1 bedroom apt is $1700 a month, yep $1700 and there is never more than 1 or 2 available at one time. A 2 bd/2 bth is over $2500. It is a ski town and the company that runs the mountains hires tons of international students that get housing, a ski pass and little else. Minimum wage in CO is $11.10, Wendy's has positions available starting at $14, most places with unskilled/minimal skill labor (cashiers, front desk agents, retail etc) pay $15-16. Million dollar homes and 2nd homes (that are empty except for a few weeks in the Winter) are rampant in the area, which means "regular" people who work all those "regular" jobs have to live far away (and in the Winter you do NOT want to work far from home) or 8 in a 2bd - I've seen it, the place we moved into 2 years ago had 2 sets of bunk beds in each room.


    Many of Disney's workers are "imported." On one hand you have the College Program, and not subject to the Union contracts. It works for the kids because they can be subsidized by their families back home, while reaping the benefits of a fun time and college credit and a line on a resume that still seems like a positive. On the other, Disney runs job hiring programs throughout the Caribbean, and I think even in Western African nations. There have been stories floating around 5-7 Haitian workers living in 2 bedroom apartments, and working shifts opposite each other. If you are Haitian, and you have a chance to work in America would you do it? Puerto Rico is also a popular hiring location, because they are US citizens. I'm sure after the devastation from the hurricanes, it is even more alluring to be given an opportunity to work on the mainland.

    Since Disney has the ability to pull more from those pools, it means local Orlando wages don't react under the same supply vs demand that people assume would apply.
    Don't forget the International Program.
     
  • tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    Not unique to Orlando. Just seems pretty common to areas with resorts and attractions. While it has been 40 years since I graduated from College, I had more than one classmate take a job in a resort area complain about poor wages, high rents and being surrounded by vacationers who were not as considerate to the locals as they could be.
     

    MillauFr

    Buzz & Woody
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2011
    Not unique to Orlando. Just seems pretty common to areas with resorts and attractions. While it has been 40 years since I graduated from College, I had more than one classmate take a job in a resort area complain about poor wages, high rents and being surrounded by vacationers who were not as considerate to the locals as they could be.
    Why did your classmates take those jobs?
     
  • tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    Yeah - I mean who deserves a living wage for unskilled labor? :rolleyes:
    Nobody, frankly. Everyone deserves a job that pays them based on their skill. These are jobs for High School students looking for a little money (or retirees looking for a little extra cash). In our society you are supposed to learn a skill to improve your wages.
     

    FQLover

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2018
    Everyone who works deserves a living wage.

    Who is going to stock your grocery shelves, ring up all your purchases at Target, pave your roads, deliver your Amazon packages, get you on and off the rides at WDW, bus your tables at a restaurant, drive your kid's school bus, clean the bathrooms at their schools or at your work place if folks weren't doing these jobs for pay and to earn their living?

    Good luck finding enough kids with after school jobs and retirees looking for a little extra cash to work all the hours in a 24 hour day, doing all the things that make your life (and mine) more convenient, healthy or enjoyable and that give you time to work your own job, more "skilled" though it may be. I repeat: everyone who works deserves. a living wage that allows them to live safely, eat securely, and pay for the basic necessities of life.
     

    belle032

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2011
    Alright then. So if all these “non-skilled” jobs are for high school students looking to make some extra cash, then why aren’t these businesses closed during school hours? I’m not seeing grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping centers closed from 7AM-3PM Monday through Friday. So they need “regular” people to work? Great, pay them a living wage.
     

    kymom99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2008
    My husband works a non skilled job. He has a high school diploma and worked 25 years in the family retail business. Then found himself looking for work. The job he has now is at a university. These jobs were once sought after because although not great pay had great benefits. And a pension. But in recent years they have stripped all these things down to almost nothing. So they can’t find people to work who have any pride in their work. Or who want to show up. This is what happens when you don’t treat workers with dignity.
     

    TwoMisfits

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2002
    As is always the case, unskilled labor will be paid more when there is no one left to do the work at the 1st price.

    Foreign labor is not used to a US standard of living, so when they come here, they are almost always willing to work at a price lower than an American would believe would support an American standard of living.

    Teens and retirees don't need to support a US standard of living b/c they are supported (by SS or parents), but as mentioned, they are hours or task limited.

    So, to raise the wages of unskilled, you tighten the market of who would work it at a substandard wage, and then miraculously, the wage will rise b/c the work still needs to get done...
     



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