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Some Eagle County businesses are boosting their pay rates

The valley’s chronic employee shortage has been exacerbated by the pandemic and booming real estate market.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — Aryn Schlichting runs the Vail Valley portion of the Mountain Careers website. She said she’s noticed over the past few weeks that “employers are starting to get competitive on wages.”

In this case, “competitive” means some landscapers are hiring at $20 or more.

Vacasa, a national property management firm with a presence in the Vail Valley, is also paying well.

In an email, Aurora Moore of Vacasa wrote in an email that the firm is currently hiring housekeepers for its Vail Valley operations. Pay for those jobs is $22 per hour, as well as a $750 sign-on and retention bonus for new housekeepers and “maintenance runners.”

Moore added that Vacasa has seen “an uptick in candidates” since u

Moore added that, at least to this point, Vacasa hasn’t passed on those pay increases to its clients.

Vacasa isn’t the only firm boosting wages and/or benefits. Schlichting noted that Eagle County, one of the valley’s largest employers, has been offering free classes at Colorado Mountain College in addition to its pay and benefits packages.

It’s hard to track

Mark Hoblitzell, the Northwest Colorado Workforce Area Business Services coordinator for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, wrote in an email that the trend toward higher pay isn’t yet pronounced enough to track accurately.

“The market is still quite dynamic,” he wrote.

But, Hoblitzell added, there’s some anecdotal evidence of increases in starting wages. But, he noted, the valley had an employee shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a virtual economic shutdown in March of 2020. That shortage is expected to continue as the economy recovers.

Read the full article at Vail Daily

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