Sep 12, 2022 - News

Utah ranked among the worst states to work in America

Illustration of a set of matches arranged a bar chart with the last match on fire in the shape of a fist.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Utah is among the 10 worst states to work in, according to a new report released this month by the anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam.

  • We also ranked No. 45 for working conditions and pay for women.

Driving the news: Utah ranked No. 44 in Oxfam's annual "Best and Worst States to Work in America."

  • We ranked No. 43 for wages, 44 for rights to organize and 30 for worker protections, such as paid leave requirements, protections against sexual harassment and rules promoting equal pay.

Zoom in: Wages, in particular, were a problem for Utah workers, Oxfam found.

  • The state had the 47th worst minimum wage-to-cost-of-living ratio. Utah's minimum wage, $7.25, covers less than 20% of the cost of living.
  • Our unemployment benefits ranked dead last compared to the cost of living.
  • Utah's low ratio of minimum tipped wage to cost of living held down its ranking for women workers, who make up the bulk of tipped workers.

Yes, and: Utah's union protections are scant compared to most other states.

  • It scored zero points in several categories: forbidding union membership requirements in the workplace, banning cities from requiring construction contracts to go to union shops and protections against employer retaliation.

The big picture: The Pacific coast ranked highest overall, with Oregon, California and Washington taking the top three spots.

  • The southeast, where all states are right-to-work and most don't extend minimum wage protections to farm workers, filled out the bottom four slots, with Texas ranked 5th lowest.

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