Colorado’s pay transparency rules attract more job seekers, fewer job offers

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act has likely helped reduce online job postings in the state, particularly for remote positions offered by domestic employers, while increasing the number of active job seekers, according to a study by the labor market research center Recruitonomics.

“This version of what Colorado has adopted is the broadest definition of pay transparency that can be contemplated,” said Sam Kuhn, labor economist at Recruitonomics, adding that what happened in Colorado merits consideration. be investigated as more states like New York, Washington, and Rhode Island implement similar requirements.

Wage is the main consideration for workers when looking for a particular job, and polls show overwhelming public support for greater wage transparency, which is seen as a key way to reduce gender-based wage disparities. race and gender. But the disclosure rules aren’t popular with some employers, who feel that revealing too much information can put them at a disadvantage in attracting applicants and negotiating with potential hires.

In early 2021, Colorado pioneered requiring employers to include salary ranges with job postings posted in the state. As some employers balked and avoided posting job openings in Colorado, pay transparency requirements are spreading.

Kuhn studied thousands of online job postings in 2020 and 2021 to determine what impact the requirements might have had on the number of online job postings on Indeed, the world’s largest job site. country. It also looked at the share of the working-age population working or actively seeking work, known as the labor force participation rate.

Utah was chosen as the control state to measure against Colorado because it is a regional neighbor, has a growing population with comparable demographics, and has an economy somewhat similar to Colorado with a mix tourism and technology. Unlike Colorado, there are no salary disclosure rules.

The study found Colorado’s labor force participation was 1.5% higher than Utah’s, which came in handy given the ultra-tight labor market in recent months. Meanwhile, daily job postings on Indeed were 8.2% lower in Colorado than in Utah.

“We’re not saying it’s caused by that, but there is some correlation,” Kuhn said.

The shift to remote work due to the pandemic likely contributed to more job openings in various markets, which could have put Colorado at a disadvantage. Last year, employers like Galvanize and Airbnb posted ads saying Colorado applicants didn’t need to apply, in part to circumvent state disclosure requirements.


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