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Recent Publications

Latest Reports from IWPR

The Union Advantage for Women
by (August 2015)

This briefing paper presents an analysis of women’s union membership and the union wage and benefit advantage for women by state and by race/ethnicity. It is based on an analysis of the Current Population Survey. Wage and benefit data are for all workers covered by a union contract, irrespective of their membership in a union.

 

Get to the Bricks: The Experiences of Black Women from New Orleans Public Housing After Hurricane Katrina
by Jane Henrici, Ph.D., with Chandra Childers, Ph.D., and Elyse Shaw, M.A. (August 2015)

Get to the Bricks: The Experiences of Black Women from New Orleans Public Housing After Hurricane Katrina presents the results of qualitative research conducted with 184 low-income black women who lived in public housing prior to Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans, and who were displaced by the hurricane and the closure and demolition of their housing. This report attempts to answer a series of interconnected questions regarding the challenges that women in public housing faced when trying to evacuate, while displaced, and when trying to return or settle in new communities. The study explores the reasoning behind their choices to either return to New Orleans or remain displaced and the resources that were or were not avilable to these women as they attempted to make the best decisions for themselves and their families after such an enormous disaster. This report recommends a more holistic approach to disaster relief efforts in the United States, including coordinated services and policies that consider the needs of the most vulnerable portions of the population. The report is part of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s work, begun in 2005, focusing on women from different communities, backgrounds, and experiences along the U.S. Gulf Coast following the Katrina-related disasters. The research is also one of a set of investigations conducted as a part of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Katrina Task Force.

 

Nearly Half of Currently Exempt Women Workers Aged 18 to 34 Will Gain Coverage Under DOL’s New Proposed Overtime Salary Threshold
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (August 2015)

When looking at all newly covered female salaried workers by age, Millennial women workers, aged 18-34 years old, will benefit most from an increase in access to overtime pay. As shown in Figure 1, comparing different age groups, the greatest percentage increase in newly covered workers will be seen among Millennial women workers. Forty-eight percent of formerly exempt Millennial women will be covered, compared with 32 percent of working women aged 35-49, 31 percent of working women aged 50-64, and 31 percent of working women aged 65 and older. These newly covered include those currently working overtime and those not currently working overtime.

 

How the New Overtime Rule Will Help Women & Families
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Hero Ashman, Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D., and Hailey Nguyen (August 2015)

This report, a collaboration between the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and MomsRising, is an analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed change to the overtime threshold and how this change will affect working women. The report focuses on the 5.9 million workers who would be “newly covered” by the proposed increase and explores the differences in the impacts of the higher earnings threshold by sex, and among women by race/ethnicity, household type, and occupation.

 

Women Gain 115,000 Jobs in July and Men Gain 100,000 Jobs
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (August 2015)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the August employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women gained 115,000 jobs and men gained 100,000 for a total of 215,000 jobs added in July. The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3 percent from June.

 

Women Gain Two Out of Three New Jobs in June: Women Gained 150,000 and Men Gained 73,000 Jobs
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (July 2015)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the July employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), women gained 150,000 jobs and men gained 73,000 for a total of 223,000 jobs added in June. The overall unemployment rate decreased to 5.3 percent in June from 5.5 percent in May.

 
Preview not available

Gender, Urbanization, and Democratic Governance
by Institute for Women's Policy Research and the National Democratic Institute (June 2015)

With two-thirds of the world’s population predicted to live in urban areas by the year 2050, the global landscape is changing rapidly. Urbanization brings with it numerous benefits, but the growing inequality between and within cities has complicated implications for urban residents, especially for those that have been historically marginalized. For women in particular, accessing the increased social, economic, and political opportunities ostensibly available to them in cities can be, in reality, incredibly difficult to take advantage of.

 

Strong Job Gains for Women in May: Women Gained 189,000 and Men Gained 91,000 Jobs
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (June 2015)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the June employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May women gained 189,000 jobs and men gained 91,000 for a total of 280,000 jobs added in the month. The overall unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.5 percent in May from 5.4 percent in April. (In May, the number of people employed increased 272,000 and the number unemployed, but looking for work, grew 125,000 while the number not in the labor force dropped by 208,000.)

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 (full report)
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 provides critical data to identify areas of progress for women in states across the nation and pinpoint where additional improvements are still needed. It presents hundreds of data points for each state across seven areas that affect women’s lives: political participation, employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, reproductive rights, health and well-being, and violence and safety. For each of these topic areas except violence and safety, the report calculates a composite index, ranks the states from best to worst, and assigns a letter grade based on the difference between the state’s performance in that area and goals set by IWPR (e.g., no remaining wage gap or the proportional representation of women in political office). The report also tracks progress over time, covers basic demographic statistics on women, and presents additional data on a range of topics related to women’s status. In addition, it gives an overview of how women from various population groups fare, including women of color, young women, older women, immigrant women, women living with a same-sex partner, and women in labor unions. This report builds on IWPR’s long-standing work on The Status of Women in the States, a series of data analyses and reports that for nearly 20 years have provided data on women’s status nationally and for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Status of Women in the States reports have three main goals: 1) to analyze and disseminate information about women’s progress in achieving rights and opportunities; 2) to identify and measure the remaining barriers to equality; and 3) to provide baseline measures for monitoring women’s progress. The data presented in these reports can serve as a resource for advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders who seek to develop community investments, programs, and public policies that can lead to positive changes for women and families.

 

Workers' Access to Paid Sick Days in the States
by Institute for Women's Policy Research and the National Partnership for Women & Families (May 2015)

Millions of workers in the United States cannot take paid time away from work to recover or seek preventive care when they are sick. Instead, these people often have to risk their jobs or pay when inevitable short-term health and caregiving needs arise. Estimates of the number of workers lacking paid sick days range from 43 to 48 million. Analysis of 2012-2013 data conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), in collaboration with the National Partnership for Women & Families, finds that across the country the percentage of workers without paid sick days varies widely from a high of 49.7 percent in New Mexico to a low of 38.9 percent in New Hampshire.

 
Preview not available

Spring 2015 Newsletter: Annual Report Edition
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

Provides a review of IWPR's activities over the year.

 

Stronger Job Gains for Men in April: Women Gained 68,000 and Men Gained 155,000 Jobs
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

According to an Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the May employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April women gained 68,000 jobs and men gained 155,000 for a total of 223,000 jobs added in the month. The overall unemployment rate declined slightly to 5.4 percent in April from 5.5 percent in March.

 

Status of Women in the States: 2015—Violence & Safety
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

This report examines many of the major topics that advocates in this area have prioritized, including intimate partner violence and abuse, rape and sexual assault, stalking, workplace violence and sexual harassment, teen dating violence and bullying, gun violence, and human trafficking.

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015—Health & Safety
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

This report provides data on women’s health status in the U nited States, beginning with a composite index of women’s health that includes nine indicators covering chronic d isease, sexual health, mental health, and physical health. It analyzes data on additional aspects of women’s health, including behavioral measures such as smoking, exercise, and diet, and preventive health care measures such as mammograms, pap tests, and screenings for HIV . In addition, the report examines how women’s health status has improved or declined in these areas in recent years. It also notes places where women’s health status varies by race/ethnicity and age and examines the health status of thos e who identify as a sexual minority .

 

The Status of Women in the States: 2015—Reproductive Rights
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2015)

This report provides information on a range of policies related to women’s reproductive health and rights. It examines abortion, contraception, the access of individuals in same-sex couples to full parental rights, infertility, and sex education. It also presents data on fertility and natality—including infant mortality—and highlights disparities in women’s reproductive rights by race and ethnicity. In addition, the report examines recent shifts in federal and state policies related to reproductive rights. It explores the decision of some states to expand Medicaid coverage under the ACA, as well as state policies to extend eligibility for Medicaid family planning services. It also reviews the recognition of same-sex marriage in a growing majority of states across the nation (National Center for Lesbian Rights 2015)—a change that has profound implications for the ability of same-sex couples to create the families they desire.

 

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.

 
Preview not available

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).

 

Access to Paid Sick Time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
by (April 2015)

This briefing paper presents estimates of access to paid sick time in Pittsburgh 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).

 
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