Why the Salary Taboo Becoming Is a Thing of the Past

By: Anneken Tappe · September 20, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Expected Salary Range

It’s becoming the new normal to see job ads with expected salary ranges. Gone are the days of the inconclusive “depends on experience” label.

Last weekend, New York state enacted a new pay transparency law, becoming the fourth state to do so along with California, Colorado, and Washington state. New York City has been requiring job posters to include a good faith salary range since November 2022.

Even though the practice is relatively new, online job postings are responding: In August, 50% of online job listings advertised their salary, up from just 18.4% in February 2020, according to data from Indeed . The trend suggests that the days of pay secrecy are behind us.

Benefits and Drawbacks

For jobseekers, pay transparency can help filter for the jobs they want more accurately. Last year, a survey from job posting site Indeed showed that three-quarters of respondents were more likely to apply to a role if it showed a salary range in the job ad. Fans of pay transparency say the practice helps level the playing field and is a step toward pay equity.

But critics are more skeptical. Extremely wide salary ranges in job ads do little to help jobseekers get a better idea of the pay and leave a backdoor to persistently unequal pay. There is also a concern that pay transparency could lead to overall lower wages as employers might push back more in salary negotiations.

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