In 1987, stockbrokers, coal miners and pipeline operators made more per week than other workers in Utah, while employees of hotels, bars and restaurants earned the least, according to figures gathered by state employment analysts.
The wage comparisons, published in the March 1989 Utah Labor Market Report, also show Utah's overall weekly pay that year was lower than the nation's average, $352 vs. $403."Historically, Utah's overall weekly wages have always been less than the nation's. (But) during the past six years the gap between Utah's average wage level and the nation's has grown," said Richard W. Newman, labor market economist for Utah's Department of Employment Security, or Job Service, which compiled the report.
Newman said reasons for the trend of Utah wages trailing the national average are: depressed markets for natural resources, increased employment of women and youth, and lower or negative employment growth in high-paying Utah industries as high job growth takes place in low-paying industries that utilize large numbers of part-time workers.
A few local industries paid more than the national average weekly wage: coal ($729 locally vs. $675 nationally) and nonmetallic metals ($540 vs. $516) mining; and legal ($666 vs. $650) and educational ($472 vs. $348) services.
Businesses that paid the highest weekly wage employed less than 1 percent of the state's work force, while the lowest paid workers comprised almost 8 percent of Utah's employed, the figures indicated.
Areas of high and low pay in Utah paralleled those on the national level. Just as jobs in the securities and commodities businesses paid the highest per week in Utah ($742), they paid far more than any other industry nationally with a $1,188 average.
Workers earning the low wages in local hotels, restaurants and bars were also among the lowest paid on a national scale, the report said.
On an industry-by-industry basis, Utah's trade industry, which employs the largest segment of the state's work force (about 25 percent), recorded the lowest average weekly wage of $246. Trade includes most retailers and wholesalers of durable and non-durable goods.
Meanwhile, mining, which employs slightly more than 1 percent of working Utahns, paid the highest weekly wage of $625.