Universal Orlando Resort Raising Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

Kimberly Redmond  |

Image: Award-winning Colombian singer and songwriter Maluma. Source: Universal Orlando Resorts

Universal Orlando Resort is raising its starting minimum wage from $13 to $15 per hour and is giving more than 18,000 employees a bump in pay based on their performance and time on the job. 

The changes, which take effect June 27, will impact both full-and part-time hourly positions, as well as entry-level salaried roles at the Florida theme park complex, the company said, noting that it is “the single-largest wage increase in Universal Orlando history.”

Universal Orlando, a unit of Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) NBCUniversal Media, is looking to hire more than 2,000 full- and part-time workers for what is expected to be a busy summer fueled by pent-up demand from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Any new employees will have their start rates automatically increased to the new rate once it goes into effect, Universal said.

The pay hike comes as the hospitality and tourism industry continues to face a labor shortage. To help attract employees, several companies have unveiled wage hikes, retention bonuses and other enhanced benefits alongside hiring announcements, according to CNBC.

Universal Orlando is the first theme park in Central Florida to boost base pay to $15 per hour. Universal's biggest competitor, Walt Disney World Resort, and its largest union reached an agreement in 2018 that calls for phased-in salary increases to reach a $15 minimum pay by October, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

A few months ago, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment said it raised starting salaries to $13 per hour at its Orlando theme park and that it plans to offer some bonuses to employees this summer.

In November 2020, voters in Florida approved an amendment to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next six years. 

In a statement to The Orlando Sentinel, Universal spokesman Tom Schroeder said, “We are working hard to be the best employer in the marketplace when it comes to wages, benefits and work environment.”

He added, “This is about taking care of both our current team members and those who will be joining our team.”


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