New analysis found that higher-paying professions like banking have lower pay transparency rates, but also that state and local laws mandating pay scales in job postings have an outsized impact, even in places where it is not necessary.

In November, New York City, a mecca for big banks and investment firms, began requiring employers to include salary scales in job postings. But four months later, despite rapid growth in the percentage of job postings in the field disclosing salaries, it still remains one of the least transparent occupational groups when it comes to posting salary ranges, according to a new analysis of job offers.

Just under 32% of banking and finance job postings include salary grids, according to analysis by jobs site Indeed. This is a significant increase from the previous year, when less than 12% of job postings in the banking and finance sector included pay scales before the New York law took effect. other state mandates. But it’s still one of the least transparent occupational groups when it comes to pay scales in job postings: Others with low transparency tend to also be higher-paying job categories , such as scientific research and development and management (each 33%) and chemical and industrial engineering. (each 31%), all of which also had significantly lower disclosure rates just a year ago.

Indeed’s analysis highlights how effective these laws have been in bridging the information gap in high-paying and traditionally male-dominated professions, giving job seekers more transparency to negotiate compensation fair, but also how far they still have to go. According to Indeed’s analysis, the most transparent job categories tend to be low-wage positions, including some in female-dominated industries, such as childcare (76% of job postings advertise now wages) and home health and personal care (62%).

“We really believe that pay transparency is a critical part of promoting equal pay and equal work,” said Cory Stahle, an economist at Indeed’s Hiring Lab. “What we found shows that these regulations drive strong growth.”

The analysis found that the mandates, which have been passed in just four states and five local jurisdictions, are having an outsized impact. Over the past three years, the number of job postings that share pay scales across industries has more than doubled to nearly half of all job postings as companies adopt national disclosure, a wave of additional states are proposing similar laws, and remote work is prompting the practice to proliferate.

Nearly 44% of job postings in the United States included salary ranges in February, compared to just 18% in the same month of 2020, according to Indeed analysis. During those three years, laws requiring the disclosure of salary ranges in job postings in major employment centers such as California, New York, and Washington State came into effect. In response, a growing number of large employers such as Microsoft and Citigroup have adopted national policies, even for jobs in places where it is not mandatory, which can make things easier for HR teams and fairer. for candidates.

The growing percentage of job postings that include pay scales is also likely due to the proliferation of states offering similar laws and employers hiring remote workers. Employers who have at least some workers in jurisdictions with laws mandating pay scales are sometimes required to post them as well for jobs that allow remote hiring, spreading the practice. Additionally, there are bills pending this year that would require pay scales in job postings in at least 11 other states or jurisdictions, including Connecticut, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

It’s no surprise, then, that many of the metro areas that have seen the practice’s fastest growth, but are not yet governed by laws requiring disclosure, include Honolulu (where year-on-year growth the other on the part of pay job offers is 77%), Bridgeport-Stamford, Connecticut (63%) and Boston (62%). “It seems like employers are starting to adapt even before the law comes into effect,” Stahle says.

The Southeastern United States, meanwhile, where there are no disclosure warrants and fewer pending laws, accounts for nearly all of the major metropolitan areas with the lowest share of salary range disclosure, found Indeed.

Compensation experts say it’s no surprise that high-paying professions like banking or scientific research still have lower transparency rates, despite increased disclosure of salary ranges over the past year. On the one hand, says Roger Lee, co-founder of compensation review software platform Comprehensive, compensation in some industries like finance and tech has long been more discretionary, whereas in low-cost jobs salary, compensation is more fixed and has long been disclosed. “It’s easier for industries to comply with pay transparency if they’re essentially already in place,” he says.

Christine Hendrickson, vice president of strategic initiatives at Syndio, which does pay equity analysis for companies, agrees, noting that the wider ranges mean it’s difficult for employers to achieve what the consultants call “compensation explainability,” or a narrative that employers can share with workers about how they set pay. “A 30% gap on a job that pays $12 an hour is much smaller than on a job that pays $150,000 or $200,000,” she notes.

“Transparency is a muscle that employers build,” she says. “They may have a better understanding of how to communicate on jobs where the range is narrower, as is often the case with lower paying roles. For more experienced and better paid positions, it takes a little more planning and maturity.

Yet making pay scales public is a strategy companies are likely to push forward, not just to comply with laws, but as evidence shows that fair pay helps retention, perhaps even more so. than a higher salary itself. New analysis from HR industry analyst Josh Bersin found that out of a list of 84 strategies to improve the employee experience, fair and equitable rewards ranked fifth for their impact on worker retention, while paying high salaries and benefits ranked 75th.

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