Changes to minimum wage will affect everyone

Minimum wage has been a hot topic in recent months, particularly during the election season. Federal laws ensure minimum wage does not dip below $7.25 for hourly employees; however, individual states have mandates as well. There’s a high variance from state to state when it comes to wage laws, and these regulations directly affect businesses, employees and consumers.

Everyone should follow minimum wage updates, since the law inadvertently affects the economy across entire markets and populations.

Nevada’s Minimum Wage

The state’s minimum wage is $8.25 per hour without benefits and, different from many other states, there is no tip credit. This credit would allow an employee to be paid a lower wage as long as tips made up the difference between the wage and the federal minimum wage. Although there was no ballot measure this year, Nevada is one of eight states that may increase the minimum wage in 2017.

An entertainment hub with so many restaurants, casinos, hotels and attractions, the Strip draws millions of tourists each year. Any industry that relies heavily on hourly employees, including entertainment and hospitality, is directly affected by minimum wage laws, which means every constituent will feel its effects — employers, workers, customers, even vendors.


For businesses, a rising minimum wage makes it harder to maintain profitability while protecting employees. Some options include decreasing the number of employees per shift or increasing prices. In some cases, brands have instituted automated services to cut down on staffing.

These changes have potential consequences when it comes to customer satisfaction. Reducing the number of staff members can cause the quality of service to suffer, while a surge in prices can have consumers looking for cheaper options. And, while automated ordering is appropriate in certain situations, the possibility of making a personal connection is diminished.

Employers may find it helpful to outline goals and define their roles within their industry. For example, a restaurant known for exceptional service knows that customers may be willing to pay more for a memorable experience. This restaurant may opt to increase the price of menu items while maintaining a full staff every shift.

The Future

Increasing minimum wage can be viewed through dozens of lenses — that’s why it’s so important to stay up to speed.

The industries that are vital to the Strip may suffer if not properly educated and prepared.

Michelle Shriver is regional developer for hospitality industry recruiting firm Patrice & Associates.