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Latest Reports from IWPR

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2014 and by Race and Ethnicity
by Ariane Hegewisch and Emily Ellis (April 2015)

Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. Data for both women’s and men’s median weekly earnings for full-time work are available for 116 occupations; these include only one occupation—‘health practitioner support technologists and technicians’—in which women have exactly the same median weekly earnings as men, and one—‘stock clerks and order fillers’—where women earn slightly more than men. The occupation with the widest gap in earnings is ‘personal financial advisers,’ with a gender earnings ratio of just 61.3 percent. In 109 of the 116 occupations, the gender earnings ratio of women’s median weekly earnings to men’s is 0.95 or lower (that is, a wage gap of at least 5 cents per dollar earned by men); in 27 of these occupations the gender earnings ratio is lower than 0.75 (that is, a wage gap of more than 25 cents per dollar earned by men).

 

Women in the Construction Trades: Earnings, Workplace Discrimination, and the Promise of Green Jobs
by Ariane Hegewisch and Brigid O'Farrell (April 2015)

Based on the 2013 IWPR Tradeswomen Survey, an exploratory study of women working in construction trades, this report provides insights to working conditions for women in the construction industry, examines their earnings and employment experiences since the end of the Great Recession, and analyzes women’s motivations for pursuing green training and its impact on their employment. The report builds on a previous IWPR study, Quality Employment for Women in the Green Economy, which mapped women’s underrepresentation in green growth occupations. The research was funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s program Sustainable Employment in a Green U.S. Economy (SEGUE).

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 — Poverty & Opportunity
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2015)

This report is a part of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s series, The Status of Women in the States: 2015, which uses data from U.S. government and other sources to analyze women’s status in each state and the United States overall, to rank and grade states on a set of indicators for six topical areas, and to provide additional data on women’s social, economic, health, and political status in states across the nation. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has published reports on the status of women in states and localities throughout the United States since 1996 covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The reports have been used to highlight women’s progress and the obstacles they continue to face and to encourage policy and programmatic changes that can improve women’s opportunities. Created in partnership with expert advisors, the reports have helped state and local partners educate the public on issues related to women’s well-being, inform policies and programs, make the case for establishing commissions for women, establish investment priorities, and inspire community efforts to strengthen area economies by increasing the participation of women and improving women's status.

 
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Access to Paid Sick Time in Los Angeles, California
by Jessica Milli, Ph.D and Daria Ulbina (April 2015)

This briefing paper presents estimates of access to paid sick time in Los Angeles by sex, race/ethnicity, occupation, part/full-time employment status, 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).

 

Slower Job Gains in March: Women Gained 105,000 and Men Gained 21,000 Jobs
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2015)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the April employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of March men hold more jobs (71,519,000) 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 (69,664,000 jobs in March 2015 vs 67,581,000 jobs in December 2007 when the recession began). The overall unemployment rate remained steady at 5.5 percent from February to March.

 

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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