- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on pay equity in New Mexico (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Advocates are urging Gov. Susana Martinez and New Mexico lawmakers to consider using pay equity among workers as a tool to address poverty, education challenges and other systemic problems that the state has battled for decades.

Leaders with the Southwest Women’s Law Center, Young Women United, Strong Families New Mexico and the New Mexico Pay Equity Initiative gathered Wednesday to discuss wage gaps and the effects on families.

They pointed to New Mexico’s persistently high poverty rates. They also said many households in the state are headed by women.

The state auditor’s office has released a review of pay disparities among employees of vendors who do business with the state. According to the findings in one category, the largest gap showed some male technicians were making almost twice as much as women.

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9:34 a.m.

A review by state auditors indicates vendors doing business with the state of New Mexico have room to improve when it comes to pay equity and gender representation.

State Auditor Tim Keller and others gathered Wednesday in Albuquerque to release the findings of a wage equity study.

Officials say the study marks the first in-depth review of wage reports that vendors must to submit to the state when bidding for contracts. The requirement stems from a 2009 executive order.

According to the report, the largest pay gap of 26 percent was reported in the job category of officers and managers.

As for representation, women made up only 3 percent of those working as skilled manual workers or craft workers.

Auditors also say underreporting among vendors needs to be addressed.

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