USOR 100 – Spotlight on Employee Excellence: Denise Tohsonii

Denise Tohsonii has worked for the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) for 15 years in her role as an office specialist in our Blanding, Ut. office. Denise plays a critical role in supporting Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselors, clients and community partners by providing exceptional customer service, help with service coordination and clerical assistance. Denise deeply cares for those she works with and her genuine level of care is apparent by the way she interacts with anyone who comes into a USOR office. More...

Utah's Employment Summary: April 2021

The following statistics are presented comparing April 2019 to April 2021

Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for April 2021 increased an estimated 2.3% across the past 24 months, with the state’s economy both returning and adding a cumulative 35,600 jobs since April 2019. Utah’s current employment level stands at 1,589,900. Utah’s March year-over job change is unrevised at 0.9%.

April’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is estimated at 2.8%, with approximately 46,600 Utahns unemployed. Utah’s March unemployment rate is unchanged at 2.9%. The April national unemployment rate inched upward to 6.1%.More...

U.S. Census Bureau Releases New Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulations

How does gender, race and ethnicity affect Utah’s occupational distribution?

By Lecia Parks Langston, Senior Economist

“Now, as a nation, we don't promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That's an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.” Barack Obama

It happens just once a decade. And, this time we’re not talking about the decennial population count. Drumroll, please. The U.S. Census Bureau has just released its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Tabulations. What is an EEO Tabulation, you ask?

For 50 years, these labor force tabulations of gender, race and ethnicity by occupation have served as the primary external benchmark for comparing the composition of an organization’s own workforce and the labor market at large to encourage compliance with anti-discrimination laws and regulations.

Labor Market Insights

However, data aficionados also use these estimates to understand and analyze the composition of the entire labor force. Why? These occupational tabulations provide a more detailed look at the economy’s occupational makeup than the data available through the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

So, it seems apropos to take a moment and examine these newly-released figures with an eye towards gaining insight into the Utah labor market. Although Utah becomes more diverse every year, you may have noticed it is hardly a hotbed of racial and ethnic variety. The EEO tabulation fleshes out the racial/ethnic differences that exist by occupation. On the gender front, Utah women have moved into nontraditional careers at a slower rate than their national counterparts. This tabulation highlights one reason behind Utah maintaining one of the nation’s largest male-female wage gaps.

Good to Know

First, a few explanatory notes are in order:
  • The tabulation covers 2014 to 2018. Yes, it is 2021. However, don’t discount these figures because the figures are “dated.” The labor market is a slow-moving beast and any annual variation is more likely attributable to sampling variability than any actual alteration.
  • The geographies made available don’t necessarily follow the customary county combinations.
  • These are sample-based estimates and may be subject to wide margins of error, particularly for less-populated areas. For example, the tabulations show no female economists in Utah and I know I’m not the only one.
  • “Hispanic or Latino” category represents an ethnic group including all races with a Spanish-culture origin.
Data Highlights

Utah Hispanics/Latinos

While Hispanics/Latinos comprise only 13% of Utah workers, they account for 34% of farming/fishing/forestry occupations, 32% of building and grounds cleaning/maintenance occupations, 29% of construction and mining occupations and 26% of both food preparation/serving and production occupations.

Individual occupations with high concentrations of Hispanic/Latinos are mostly in the construction trades and include plasterers/stucco masons (88%), drywall installers/tapers (66%), insulation workers (60%), roofers (55%), carpet/floor installers (45%) and cement masons (45%).

Latinas are even more concentrated in the building and grounds cleaning occupations. While Utah Latinas make up only 13% of all women workers, they account for a whopping 41% of female building/grounds cleaning workers. They are sorely underrepresented in the education and healthcare practitioner occupations.

In contrast, the Hispanic/Latino group accounts for only 5% to 6% of architecture/engineering, education/library, healthcare practitioners/technical, computer/mathematical and legal occupations.

The concentration of Hispanic/Latinos in certain occupations may be related to a higher-than-average immigrant population.

Other Races and Ethnicities

On the other hand, Asians comprise only 3% of Utah’s labor force, but 8% of life/physical science occupations and 7% of computer/mathematical occupations.

Among individual occupations, Asians show high concentrations among chemists (18%), agricultural/food scientists (17%), physical scientists (17%), hazardous materials removal workers (12%), natural science managers (12%) and personal appearance workers (11%).

Black/African Americans comprise only 1% of Utah workers, but 3% of workers who are unemployed, have no work experience or were previously in the military.

Native Americans show a similar pattern. They account for 1% of the Utah labor force, but 6% of the unemployed/no work experience/military occupation category.

Interestingly, Native American women make up a notably higher percentage of female construction workers than they do the overall female labor force.

Whites appear overrepresented in architecture/engineering, business, education/library, legal, management and protective service occupations.

Utah Women

Utah women encompass roughly 44% of the Utah labor force, but only 3% of construction and installation/maintenance/repair occupations. They are also significantly underrepresented in architecture/engineering, computer/mathematical and transportation/material moving positions.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Utah women comprise 83% of healthcare support occupations and 80% of personal care/service occupations — both among the lowest-paying occupational groups.

Utah women are highly concentrated in the following detail-level occupations: preschool/kindergarten teachers (99%), childcare workers (96%), secretaries/administrative assistants (96%), speech-language pathologists (93%) and personal appearance workers (91%).

But Wait, There’s More

The visualization that accompanies this post represents just the tip of the EEO tabulation iceberg. For more information visit our website: