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Latest Reports from IWPR

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 — Employment and Earnings
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (March 2015)

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and their earnings are essential to the economic security of families across the nation. Yet, gender equality at work remains elusive. Women who work full-time, year-round still earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared with men, and during the last decade little improvement has been made in closing the gender wage gap (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor 2014). The glass ceiling persists, and occupational segregation—the concentration of women in some jobs and men in others—remains a stubborn feature of the U.S. labor market (Hegewisch et al. 2010). These national trends show up in states across the nation. This report examines women’s earnings and the gender wage gap, women’s labor force participation, and the occupations and industries in which women work. It also considers areas where women have experienced progress toward gender equity in the workforce and places where progress has slowed or stalled.

 

Access to Paid Sick Days in Louisiana
by Jenny Xia (March 2015)

An analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that approximately 41 percent of all workers (45 percent of private sector workers, compared with 17 percent of public sector workers) living in Louisiana lack even a single paid sick day. This lack of access is even more pronounced among low-income and part-time workers. Access to paid sick days promotes safe and healthy work environments by reducing the spread of illness1 and workplace injuries,2 reduces health care costs, and supports children and families by helping parents meet their children’s health needs.3 This briefing paper presents estimates of access to paid sick days in Louisiana by sex, race and ethnicity, occupation, hours worked, and personal earnings through analysis of government data sources, including the 2011–2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS).

 

The Gender Wage Gap: 2014; Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity
by Ariane Hegewisch, Emily Ellis, and Heidi Hartmann (March 2015)

The gender wage gap in the United States has not seen significant improvements in recent years and remains a reality for women across racial and ethnic groups. In 2014, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 82.5 percent, an increase of just 0.4 percentage points since 2013, when the ratio was 82.1 percent. Women’s median weekly earnings for full-time work were $719 compared with $871 for men. Once controlling for inflation, neither women’s nor men’s median earnings significantly increased between 2013 and 2014.

 

Job Gains Continue in February: Women Gained 162,000 and Men Gained 133,000 Jobs
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (March 2015)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the March employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of February men hold more jobs (71,551,000) than when the recession began (70,769,000 in December 2007) seven years earlier. Due to women’s relatively stronger job growth in several of the last few years, their total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered for some time (69,575,000 jobs in February 2015 vs 67,581,000 jobs in December 2007 when the recession began). The overall unemployment rate decreased to 5.5 percent in February from 5.7 percent in January

 
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Moynihan’s Half Century: Have We Gone to Hell in a Hand Basket?
by Philip N. Cohen, Heidi Hartmann, Jeff Hayes and Chandra Childers (March 2015)

In The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, published in 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously argued that the fundamental obstacle to racial equality was the instability of Black families, and especially the prevalence of single-mother families. That same year, he predicted that the spread of single-parent families would result not only in rising poverty and inequality but also in soaring rates of crime and violence. Half a century later, we report that the changes in family structure that concerned him have continued, becoming widespread among Whites as well, but that they do not explain recent trends in poverty and inequality. In fact, a number of the social ills Moynihan assumed would accompany these changes have actually decreased.

 

The Status of Women in Washington: Forging Pathways to Leadership and Economic Opportunity
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. and Jessica Milli, Ph.D. (March 2015)

This report provides critical data and analyzes areas of progress for women in Washington, as well as places where progress has slowed or stalled. It examines key indicators of women’s status in several topical areas: employment and earnings, economic security and poverty, and political participation. The data presented on these topics can serve as a resource for advocates, community leaders, policymakers, funders, and other stakeholders who are working to create public policies and programs that enable women in Washington to achieve their full potential. Key findings in the report include the following:

 

Toward Our Children’s Keeper: A Data-Driven Analysis of the Interim Report of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Shows the Shared Fate of Boys and Girls of Color
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D; Chandra Childers, Ph.D; and Elyse Shaw, MA; with Bianca Sacco-Calderone and Sheya Jabouin (February 2015)

This report was commissioned by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) as part of a series highlighting issues confronting women and girls of color. This report uses information and data provided by the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force interim report (MBK90) and website in addition to other scholarly research to analyze the validity of the male-centric framework of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and to provide information about the status of women and girls of color, comparing their situation with that of men and boys of color as well as with white females and males.

 

Job Gains Continue in 2015: Women Gained 101,000 and Men Gained 156,000 Jobs in January
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2015)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the February employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of January men hold more jobs (71,434,000) than when the recession began (70,769,000 in December 2007) seven years earlier. Due to women’s relatively stronger job growth in several of the last few years, their total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered for some time (69,415,000 jobs in January 2015 vs 67,581,000 jobs in December 2007 when the recession began). The overall unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.7 percent in January from 5.6 percent in December (an amount that is not statistically significant).

 
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Valuing Good Health in Maryland: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days
by Jessica Milli, Ph.D. (January 2015)

This briefing paper uses data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Census Bureau to evaluate the costs and benefits of Maryland’s Earned Sick Days Act. It estimates how much time off Maryland workers would use under the proposed policy and the costs to employers for that earned sick time. This analysis also uses findings from previous peer-reviewed research to estimate cost-savings associated with the proposed policy, through reduced turnover, reduced spread of contagious disease in the workplace, increased productivity, minimized nursing-home stays, and reduced norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes. This study is one of a series of analyses conducted by IWPR examining the effects of earned sick leave policies.

 

Access to Paid Sick Days in Maryland
by Salina Tulachan and Jessica Milli, Ph.D. (January 2015)

This briefing paper presents estimates of private sector workers’ access to paid sick days in Maryland by sex, race and ethnicity, occupation, part/full-time employment status, personal earnings and county of residence through analysis of government data sources, including the 2010–2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the 2010–2012 American Community Survey (ACS).

 

Access to Paid Sick Days in Oregon
by Jessica Milli, Ph.D. and Sweta Joshi (January 2015)

An analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that approximately 47 percent of private sector workers living in Oregon lack even a single paid sick day (these figures exclude workers in Portland and Eugene, which both have paid sick days ordinances). This lack of access is even more pronounced among low-income and part-time workers. Access to paid sick days promotes safe and healthy work environments by reducing the spread of illness and workplace injuries, reduces health care costs, and supports children and families by helping parents to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities. This briefing paper presents estimates of access to paid sick days in Oregon by sex, race and ethnicity, occupation, hours worked, and personal earnings through analysis of government data sources, including the 2011–2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS).

 

Untapped Resources, Untapped Labor Pool: Using Federal Highway Funds to Prepare Women for Careers in Construction
by Ariane Hegewisch, Jane Henrici, Elyse Shaw, and Thomas Hooper (December 2014)

Women are underrepresented in highway, street, and bridge construction where employment is projected to grow by more than 20 percent until 2022. Creating sustainable pathways into construction careers fills critical hiring needs for industry while improving economic security for women, as these jobs typically provide family-supporting wages with good benefits. Activities to improve women’s recruitment and retention in skilled construction jobs are widely known, but dedicated funding for such activities is scarce. Federal highway funding offers states a stable resource that can support activities that improve women’s entry into and success in the construction trades. This briefing highlights examples of how two states, Maryland and Oregon, are using this funding to improve diversity in the highway construction workforce. The paper begins by discussing the lack of gender diversity in the construction workforce, describes the challenges and proven strategies for improving the pipeline into construction jobs for women, and outlines how federal highway dollars can be used to improve the diversity of this workforce by funding on-the-job training and support services. The briefing paper is based on a review of literature, pre-apprenticeship state-level evaluations and progress reports, and interviews with key stakeholders from Oregon, the tradeswomen community, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

 

Men Finally Regain Jobs Lost in Recession 14 Months After Women: Men Finally Regain Jobs Lost in Recession 14 Months After Women: Women Gained 108,000 Jobs in November
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (December 2014)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the December employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), men now hold more jobs (70,954,000) than when the recession began (70,769,000 in December 2007) and even their pre-recession peak (70,946,000 in June 2007). The unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent in November. Due to women’s strong job growth the total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered for some time (140,0450,000 jobs in November 2014 vs 138,350,000 jobs in December 2007 when the recession began).

 

4.8 Million College Students are Raising Children
by Barbara Gault, Lindsey Reichlin, Elizabeth Reynolds, and Meghan Froehner (November 2014)

Over a quarter (26 percent) of all undergraduate students, or 4.8 million students, are raising dependent children. Women are disproportionately likely to be balancing college and parenthood, many without the support of a spouse or partner. Women make up 71 percent of all student parents, and roughly 2 million students, or 43 percent of the total student parent population, are single mothers. Single student fathers make up 11 percent of the student parent population.

 

Campus Child Care Declining Even As Growing Numbers of Parents Attend College
by Barbara Gault, Lindsey Reichlin, Elizabeth Reynolds, and Meghan Froehner (November 2014)

Affordable, reliable child care is a crucial support for the 4.8 million college students raising dependent children, but is often tough to find. High child care costs, difficulty obtaining subsidies, and scheduling challenges often create significant obstacles for student parents, and may contribute to their relatively low rates of college completion. Postsecondary systems can play an important role in promoting college success by helping student parents locate and pay for the child care they need to succeed in school

 
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The Status of Women in Connecticut's Workforce
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. (November 2014)

Women in Connecticut have made significant advances in the workforce in recent years but continue to face persistent disparities and inequities that often prevent them from reaching their full potential. Women’s labor force participation has increased over the last two decades, the gender wage gap has narrowed, and women are more likely than in the past to work in managerial or professional occupations. At the same time, many women in Connecticut experience a persistent gender wage gap, limited access to affordable child care, and low levels of education. In addition, women in the state face stark disparities in opportunities and access to resources across racial and ethnic groups and geographic locations. Addressing such challenges and disparities is essential to the continued advance- ment of women and to the well-being of Connecticut as a whole.

 

Women Gained 127,000 Jobs in October; Men Still 71,000 Short from Pre-Recession Employment Levels
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (November 2014)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the November employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), although the total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered (139,680,000 jobs in October 2014 vs. 138,350,000 jobs in December 2007, when the recession began), men are still short 71,000 jobs from the start of the recession. In October, men gained 87,000 jobs on nonfarm payrolls, while women gained 127,000 for an increase of 214,000 total jobs in October.

 

Women and Men in the Recovery: Where the Jobs Are; Women Recover Jobs Lost in Recession in Year Five
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., Elyse Shaw, and Rachel O'Connor (November 2014)

While the number of jobs dropped steeply, particularly for men, in the Great Recession, slow job growth has characterized the recovery. In the first two years of the recovery, men saw faster job growth than women. By the third year of recovery, in terms of share of jobs lost that were regained, women’s job growth saw pronounced gains and largely caught up to men’s. Within the recovery’s fourth year, the percentage of lost jobs regained by women overall exceeded that of lost jobs regained by men. The fifth year of recovery saw women surpass their pre-recession levels of employment, while men have not yet made up their recession job losses. As of June 2014, men had regained 90.1 percent of the jobs they lost in the recession and women had regained 136.3 percent of theirs.

 

Stronger Job Growth in September Puts Men within Striking Distance of their Pre-Recession Employment Level
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (October 2014)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the October employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), although the total number of jobs lost in the recession has been recovered (139,435,000 jobs in September 2014 vs. 138,350,000 jobs in December 2007 when the recession began), men are still short 142,000 jobs from the start of the recession. In September, men gained 147,000 jobs on nonfarm payrolls, while women gained 101,000 for an increase of 248,000 total jobs in September. The unemployment rate decreased to 5.9 percent in September from 6.1 percent in August.

 

Summer 2014 Newsletter
by (September 2014)

 
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