State salary review, airports improving performance, Tesla orders

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Women and minorities working in state government make less than their male counterparts in similar jobs, a newspaper review of state salary data has found.

According to The Dallas Morning News ( ), women earn 92 cents on the dollar compared with men. The gap has actually grown by 2 cents since 2006, even as gender and racial pay inequity have gotten more attention in recent years.

Black women make 86 cents on the dollar compared to white men, and Hispanic women earn 87 cents.

The newspaper found that white men are more likely to get top agency jobs that carry higher salaries and fewer restrictions on raises. It also spoke to state employees who said they've seen in practice what the data suggests overall: most low-paid co-workers are women of color.

The gaps in state salaries are actually lesser than the national difference according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which estimated in November that women working full-time earn about 83 cents on the dollar compared to men.

In Texas, the salary gap appears to be wider for workers making higher salaries than low-wage workers.

There are seven men and seven women listed as working for the attorney general's office with the job title "Systems Analyst VI." The men make an average annual salary of $98,705; the women on average make $84,831.

Whites are four times more likely than blacks to make more than $100,000 a year, and nearly four times more likely than Hispanics.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's office declined to address the newspaper's findings specifically, but a spokesman said Abbott's office paid employees based on their "experience and job responsibilities."

"To suggest otherwise would be irresponsible," said the spokesman, John Wittman.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar told the newspaper that he wanted to study the issue and that he encouraged women and minorities to undergo leadership training so they could eventually move into higher, better-paid jobs.

"It's common sense, or otherwise in a few years, it's going to be real bad, where we have division leaders retire, and we don't have a mixed bench," Hegar said.


Information from: The Dallas Morning News,


DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors' CEO says worldwide orders for a new lower-priced electric car hit 276,000 last weekend.

CEO Elon Musk posted the number Sunday on his Twitter feed. He says if the trend continues orders will hit 500,000.

Tesla's new Model 3 starts at $35,000 and has a range of 215 miles per charge. Customers must put down $1,000 to order the cars, which go on sale in late 2017.

Musk says in tweets that Model 3 steering controls will feel like a spaceship. He also says it will be rear-wheel-drive with optional all-wheel-drive.

The orders make it likely that many won't get a $7,500 U.S. electric car tax credit. The credit phases out when a manufacturer hits 200,000 sales. Tesla won't say how many orders came from the U.S.

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