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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Universal Orlando theme parks raise starting wage to $15/hour

Posted By on Thu, May 27, 2021 at 1:51 PM

click to enlarge Universal theme parks will raise their starting wage to $15/hour next month. - PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSAL ORLANDO/FACEBOOK
  • Photo courtesy Universal Orlando/Facebook
  • Universal theme parks will raise their starting wage to $15/hour next month.

In a win for their thousands of employees in Central Florida, Universal theme parks announced that they are raising their starting pay to $15/hour for all entry-level employees on June 27.

The raise will immediately give the park's lowest-paid workers a $2/hour raise from their current base rate of $13/hour. The park also shared that they will grant commensurate raises for employees who already make more than their lowest hourly rate. The company said that 18,000 of these employees will receive a raise based around their time with Universal.

“We are excited about our future and we want team members who will be excited to be part of that journey,” said John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts in a press release. “This is about taking care of both our current team members and those who will be joining our team.  We know a great guest experience begins with our team members – and we will continue to provide the best work experience we can.”

The move comes as many service jobs in Florida are having trouble coaxing employees back into the workforce. With the expanded unemployment benefits offered by the federal government and the still ongoing pandemic, many low-wage workers have done the math and found it makes more sense to stay home. Universal offered the carrot of higher pay, while politicians and Tallahassee have opted for the stick of pulling the benefits out from under needy Floridians. 

Of course, we can't forget that the minimum wage is currently on a course to be $15 in Florida anyway, albeit on a much-longer timeframe that makes the pay increase virtually useless.

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