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Compression Analysis

Based on the results of the compression analysis, nearly 2,500 employees received pay compression increases to their base salaries on their May 22, 2018 paycheck. These employees also received a one-time, lump sum payment for their pay increase retroactive to January 1, 2018.

Approximately 2900 employees were included in the pay compression analysis. Employees who were not included in the analysis are:

  • Those hired on or after January 1, 2018
  • Sworn officers
  • Temporary employees
  • Appointed employees

To determine where compression exists in the county, HR analyzed the equivalent prior work experience submitted by employees. From the compression analysis, HR determined the cost to address all compression issues in the county is approximately $25.7 million. The county had $4.4 million set aside for 2018 for addressing compression. Distributing these existing compression funds is just the first step in addressing countywide compression.

Each year, HR and the Compensation Advisory Committee will make funding recommendations to the County Council to continue addressing pay compression, as part of the ongoing Salt Lake County Compensation Project.  

Frequently Asked Questions


  • September 2017 : All benefit-eligible and merit employees entered their prior external work experience into PeopleSoft
  • December 2017: Managers evaluated their employees’ prior work experience
  • March 14 – 23, 2018: An additional review of employee work experience was conducted to ensure consistency and accuracy
  • March 26 – April 2018:
    • Human Resources completed the final analysis of employee work experience
    • The Compensation Advisory Committee reviewed the data and made recommendations to begin relieving compression
    • Recommendations were  presented to the County Council and approved on April 10, 2018
  • May 2018: Pay increases for this compression analysis implemented

What is pay compression?

Pay compression is when employees with significant job experience are paid nearly the same as employees with much less experience in the same job.

What about vacation accrual?

Vacation accrual rates will be calculated after the compression analysis is completed and implemented. The rates will go into effect retroactively to January 1, 2018.

What is prior related work experience?

Work that qualified and prepared an employee for their current job. The duties and responsibilities were at least 50% the same as their current job. This information will be used to calculate an employee’s vacation leave accrual rate.

What is equivalent prior related work experience?

Previous jobs that are equal to an employee’s current job. These jobs required the same or equivalent levels of knowledge, skills and experience as their current job. This information will be used to determine where compression exists across the county and to make recommendations to begin addressing compression.