Half of Job Ads Now Contain Salary Information

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer September 26, 2023

​Global jobs board Indeed has reported that 50 percent of the U.S.-based job listings on the site now include some employer-provided salary information, the highest share yet recorded.

The percentage of job ads with salary information was near 10 percent in 2019 before the pay transparency movement took off. In a spectacular trajectory, job ads with salary information began to proliferate during the pandemic and accelerated from around 30 percent in 2022—when more states began to adopt regulations—to where it is now.

The figure is likely to continue growing in the coming months, as the analysis from Indeed was conducted before New York's statewide salary disclosure law went into effect Sept. 17.

"This shows me that the pay range transparency laws are making the change the lawmakers intended, to provide visibility and transparency into the pay offered to job candidates," said Mariann Madden, North America pay equity co-lead at consultancy WTW.

Cory Stahle, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, said, "Providing pay information in job postings can be a way for employers to build more trust with their employees, attract new workers, and may potentially help close gender and racial pay gaps. These and other perceived benefits, paired with growing public support, have motivated salary disclosure laws in several states and a rise in pay transparency in recent years."

A growing number of states and localities prohibit employers from requesting salary information from job applicants and require employers to disclose the pay range for a position to applicants or employees.

Indeed is working toward a goal of including salary ranges in all U.S.-based job listings, either entered by the employer or estimated by Indeed, based on a variety of factors, including job title, experience qualifications, education requirements and job location.

State, Regional Differences

Pay transparency rates are rising across the country, but there are state and regional differences. Stahle explained that in general, employers in the western states provide pay details in postings at the highest rate, while employers in the southern states are less likely to advertise salary upfront.

Colorado takes the top spot with 81 percent of job ads featuring pay information, followed by Washington at 75 percent and California at 70 percent. Colorado's pay disclosure laws have been in effect since January 2021—the longest of any state.

Mississippi recorded the lowest transparency level, with only 33 percent of job listings advertising pay, followed by Arkansas with 36 percent and Louisiana with 38 percent.  

Also not surprisingly, metropolitan areas in states with pay transparency regulations have experienced the fastest growth in job ads with salary information. Eleven of the 15 metro areas with the largest growth in pay transparency are in California. The New York City metro area grew from a share of 31 percent to 58 percent between August 2022 and August 2023. 

Madden found it encouraging that employers are including pay ranges in locations where there aren't current requirements. "I wasn't expecting to see Vermont and South Dakota on the list of U.S. states with the largest increases in pay transparency," she said. "This leads me to believe that employers are taking a broader approach to pay range transparency, meaning that they aren't disclosing ranges only where legally mandated. That's great news as it means that job seekers, regardless of where they are located, have access to pay range information and can make informed decisions about their career opportunities and financial well-being."

Stahle questioned what will happen to the pay transparency trend as the labor market continues to soften. "Will employers remove salary information as it becomes easier to find workers or is pay transparency here to stay?" he asked.

However, Madden doesn't see the momentum waning. "Our team tallied over 20 U.S. laws that were proposed this year at the state, county or city level," she said. "I think this speaks volumes to this trend. And next year I expect to see other laws proposed in place of the ones that don't pass this year."

She said before long there could be a push for public pay gap reporting or sharing the criteria that are used to make pay decisions with employees.

"It is too early to speculate what will happen, but we know that lawmakers, institutional investors, unions, regulators, employees, and job seekers have a common goal, which is for employers to provide objective and fair pay and career opportunities to all," Madden said.



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