Decline in median salary may reflect effects of pandemic rather than actual trends

Amid the pandemic, closures and later the tightening labor market, employee compensation diverged at large Florida state-owned companies in 2020. Median employee compensation fell more than 5% across 16 companies, rose at least 5% to 35 and hovered within that range. for the rest.

Florida Trend examined data provided by MyLogIQ from annual company disclosures of median employee compensation, per the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. The data covered 85 Florida-based companies in the Russell 3000 that reported median compensation of employees for 2019 and 2020.

The pandemic has produced aberrations. Miami-based cruise operator Carnival, for example, reported a 76% increase in its median employee’s salary to $ 27,151. It’s not that the cruise servers were earning more. In 2019, Carnival based its median salary calculation on 110,668 employees, many of whom are ship-based and work for terms of six to 11 months. For 2020, with ships not sailing due to the pandemic, the number had fallen to 23,986, shore-based employees, who tend to earn more.

A higher median compensation of employees at other employers also appears to be due to the fact that the lowest paid employees are unemployed. Efforts to get comments from Carnival were unsuccessful.

The impact of the pandemic was evident among retailers, restaurants and employers in the hospitality industry. Foodservice firm Bloomin ‘Brands reported a 35% drop to $ 9,327, the second-largest percentage drop in Florida. The largest drop, nearly 50% to $ 8,664, occurred with cruise line Royal Caribbean. The company says it paid allowances and assistance to employees on leave aboard ships when the industry shut down, but the shutdown still had a “significant impact” on wages. Bloomin ‘Brands’ efforts to get comment were unsuccessful.

Salary also fell for timeshare company Marriott Vacations Worldwide, which saw median employee compensation drop 19% to $ 29,929. The company said the pandemic made 2020 an abnormal year. “We are well positioned for the long term and anticipate a return to more traditional staffing and compensation levels as leisure travel resumes,” the company said in a statement.

Daytona Beach-based owner and real estate investor CTO Realty Growth said his median pay fell 14% to $ 144,747 for reasons such as job expansion – new hires were recruited from lower pay levels – and also because it links pay to performance-based measures and initiatives. “Largely because of COVID,” the initiatives were not completed in 2020, says CFO Matthew Partridge.

Firms in other sectors reported increases.

  • The median salary for an employee at AutoNation, a Fort Lauderdale-based retailer, rose 9% to $ 54,025. AutoNation executive vice president Marc Cannon said AutoNation employees receive higher commissions and bonuses so they can participate in the company’s success.
  • The median salary at HCI Group, a Jacksonville-based healthcare IT company, rose 78% to $ 73,065. “The increase in median compensation that you’re seeing is a reflection of the company’s continued investment in their talent,” the company says.
  • The individual situations of companies have produced anomalies. Timeshare company Hilton Grand Vacations saw its salary drop from $ 39,723 to $ 46,409. The reason: SEC rules require companies to find a specific employee whose salary is the median and track that employee’s salary for three years. As it turns out, the median employee salary at Hilton Grand Vacations for the three years from 2017 to 2019 has remained stable at $ 39,273. Then a new employee became the median designated employee in 2020 and that employee was promoted that year and earned overtime, bringing the annual salary to $ 46,409, according to the company.
  • Defense contractor L3Harris, meanwhile, saw his median salary increase by 70% to $ 99,189. That increase was only so big because the 2019 disclosure only covered six months, as Melbourne-based Harris merged with New York-based L3. The 2020 disclosure covered a full year, as well as the addition of international employees, “where pay can deviate significantly from the median salary” in the United States, spokeswoman Sara Banda said. Florida’s compensation, she says, has remained stable; the average Florida salary is $ 106,000 at L3Harris.

The median employee salary has climbed at some of the 17 Florida companies where the median salary exceeds $ 100,000. These businesses had an average of 4,274 employees, but some are quite small. Xenia Hotels & Resorts real estate investment trust, one of only two companies with a median salary above $ 200,000, employs just 36 people. , followed by Juno Beach-based NextEra at 14,148.

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The median salary at NextEra Energy, parent company of utility FPL, rose 4% to $ 134,919. It rose 11.5% at Miami-based home builder Lennar to $ 114,665, up 37.5% at Miami-based consulting firm Hackett Group to $ 171,900. Compensation at Lake Mary-based imaging firm Faro Technologies increased nearly 82% to $ 108,547. Efforts to obtain comments from companies were unsuccessful.

Forty-four companies had median employee compensation above the statewide average annual revenue of $ 55,845. The salary was less than $ 15,000 at eight companies; most of them were in retail, tourism, the cruise industry or had a significant number of employees abroad.

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