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Connecticut News

State employees are more white than the rest of Connecticut, analysis finds

As the U.S. workforce continues to become more diverse, researchers are now more than ever examining diversity and bias in the work place.
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As the U.S. workforce continues to become more diverse, researchers are now more than ever examining diversity and bias in the work place.

A recent analysis of Connecticut state government’s hiring practices shows the makeup of its workforce does not reflect the diversity of the state’s population.

More than three-quarters of state workers were white as of early 2021, according to data obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media. That doesn’t reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state, where two-thirds of residents are white.

Over the last five years, the diversity of the state government’s workforce has improved overall, but there are still slightly more white employees being brought on across agencies. The Hearst analysis also found disparities in pay based on race and gender.

Some of the deepest divisions were in police services and the state Department of Transportation.

An opportunity to rebalance the workforce may be coming this summer, as a surge of retirements from state government are expected to leave thousands of vacancies. This comes as the pandemic enters its third year and recent changes to pension rules.

A legislative task force released their recommendations last week, including adding a chief of diversity officer in every state agency.