Do you know how much your job is worth? Millions of Americans are finally getting the answer.
On Jan. 1, California and Washington state began requiring employers to include pay ranges with their job listings. The two states follow New York City and Colorado in implementing pay-transparency measures.
As of Dec. 4, just 44% of California job listings and 48% of Washington listings included that information, according to the most recent data from the hiring platform Indeed. But after Jan. 1, that is set to change.
“With pay transparency, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back,” Maggie Hulce, executive vice president and general manager of enterprise at Indeed, said in a statement.
New York City implemented a similar rule in November, and since then the share of job postings that include employer-provided pay information has skyrocketed, she said.
In New York City, 27% of job postings had pay information as of Oct. 1. That figure rose to 40% on the day the law took effect and was at 61% as of Dec. 4, according to Indeed.
Job listings that include information about pay receive more interest from job seekers than do listings without that information, with 30% more applicants clicking the “apply” button, Indeed’s research shows.
New York state also has a new pay-transparency measure, which was signed into law on Dec. 21 and will take effect in the fall of 2023.
Providing pay information gives higher-paying employers a competitive edge as they try to attract talent in a tight labor market, Hulce added.
And it’s especially helpful in closing pay gaps for minority workers, she said.
“By setting clearer pay expectations up front between a job seeker and employer, better matches happen — faster,” Hulce said. “Pay transparency can also help close pay gaps that still exist across gender, race [and] ethnicity and other factors.”
Significant pay gaps between ethnic groups and between genders persist, according to a 2022 analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Looking at median weekly earnings, women make 83 cents on the dollar compared to men. The gap is even larger for women of color, with Black women earning 63% and Hispanic women earning 58% of what white men earn.
“The momentum going into 2023 is encouraging that real change is ahead — not only in areas where laws are taking effect, but increasingly at the national level as well,” Hulce said.
Every job seeker should be prepared to negotiate, and until all states mandate pay-transparency laws, people can use publicly available benchmarks as reference points, Katie Twomey, vice president of finance and operations at Illumen Capital, told MarketWatch.
With the new transparency rules, current employees are now also able to compare their salary against publicly listed ranges of similar positions within their own company and in their industry, and to identify potential companywide and nationwide disparities, Twomey said.
After New York City implemented the pay-transparency requirement in November, however, some companies worked around the rule by posting broad salary ranges, with the highest being up to $100,000 a year more than the lowest amount. Transparency advocates say such information is largely useless and could even exacerbate pay gaps.
“Race, gender and other identities can play a significant role in salary negotiations,” Twomey said, and if negotiations don’t result in the same success for everyone, “then it is possible that pay inequities may persist or even worsen.”