Redefining a pay gap among Utah’s executive branch employees

Nov 1, 2022, 4:32 PM | Updated: 4:33 pm
The Utah 2023 Legislative Session started out with a bang, with lawmakers putting their first focus...
FILE: Exterior of the Utah Capitol (Annie Barker/Deseret News)
(Annie Barker/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — An updated study on a pay gap among male and female, white and Hispanic employees in Utah’s Executive Branch has provided more information and a different way of looking at numbers from the first study.

After conducting the first study in 2021, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget concluded there was evidence showing gender and minority pay gaps within some executive branch agencies and at similar job levels. Specifically, the study said that men earned 21% more than women, and that white or Non-Hispanic or Latino employees earned 17% more than those who reported as non-white, Hispanic, or Latino.

The new study re-examined the results of the 2021 study. And Tanner Nalley, chief economist for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, said the first analysis missed some important specifics.

“There isn’t a statistically significant difference between men and women wage or minority and non-minority wage in the Executive Branch workforce once you control for non-demographic factors,” Nalley told KSL NewsRadio.

Those factors, Nalley said, include an employee’s tenure, what kind of work they do, schedule codes, and which agency employs them. Results from the 2022 study found that when those factors are taken into consideration, the differences in pay between men and women, and whites and Non-Hispanic or Latinos, are not statistically significant.

However, the new study calls for continued research. And it concludes that while pay differences can be explained by non-demographic factors, there is still evidence of gender pay gaps within some agencies. 

Contributing: Simone Seikaly

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Redefining a pay gap among Utah’s executive branch employees