Although the Utah Labor Commission's budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998, will be about the same as the current year, labor commissioner E. Lee Ellertson did get permission to hire several new people in his agency.

Ellertson said in spite of the Legislature giving state employees a 3.5 percent wage increase, he has no money in his new budget to raise the salaries of some of his lowest paid workers. He loses several people annually to private industry because they can make more money there.He will hire a new administrative law judge, a person to support the judge, one new investigator in the Utah Anti-Discrimination Division, two boiler inspectors and two pressure-vessel inspectors.

Ellertson said that for several years the law allowed him to hire presssure-vessel inspectors, but no money was provided. Pressure vessels are located on air compressors and other machinery. He estimates there are 7,000 in the state that need periodic inspection.

The commission also received a one-time $100,000 appropriation to purchase computers and make changes in the information system.