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December 2013 RNR

 

IWPR’s Research News Reporter is distributed to highlight informative, innovative, and sometimes controversial research related to women and their families.

December 2013

 

Research Making the News

  1. “Women Are Back to Pre-Crash Employment Levels, Men Still Lag”
  2. “The People Who Care For Our Children Are Paid Terribly”
  3. “Discrimination Abounds”
  4. “Pay Equity Report Completed”
  5. “Wage Gap for Women of Color Persists, Fuels Poverty, New Study Finds”

 

Research Reports

  1. The Gender Jobs Split: How Young Men and Women Experience the Labour Market
  2. How Do Trends in Women’s Labor Force Activity and Marriage patterns Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?
  3. Resetting the Trillion-Dollar Student-Loan Debt Problem
  4. Low Wages and Scant Benefits Leave Many In-Home Workers Unable to Make Ends Meet
  5. Necessary Reductions or Increased Support? Parental Investments in Children during the Great Recession

 

 

Research Making the News

 

Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:


1. “Women Are Back to Pre-Crash Employment Levels, Men Still Lag”

By Maya Rhodan
Time
November 11, 2013

Citing: More Women Working Today than Ever Before, According to Analysis of October Employment Databy Institute for Women’s Policy Research

“Women have regained all of the jobs they lost during the recession, bringing the number of employed women to its highest level ever, the October jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

According to an analysis of the report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women now hold 67,486,000 jobs, a little over 100,000 more than their previous peak in March 2008.

Since the recession began, the overall jobs market has been plagued with marginal growth and high unemployment, but women have experienced a steady increase in employment over the past year. […] By the end of October, women had regained 100% and reached a new peak in the number of non-farm jobs, while men have regained just 73% of the 6 million jobs they lost during the recession. […]

[…]While surpassing pre-recession employment is something to celebrate, the number of jobs added is nowhere near where women or men would be had the number of available jobs kept pace with the growing labor force. While women have regained their pre-crash employment levels in absolute terms, the percentage of women in the labor force who are employed has not rebounded to its pre-crash levels. […]”

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, visit our website.

 

2. “The People Who Care For Our Children Are Paid Terribly”

By Bryce Covert
Think Progress
November 14, 2013

Citing: Number and Characteristics of Early Care and Education (ECE) Teachers and Caregivers: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) by U.S. Department of Health Services, Office of Planning Research and Evaluation and the Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

“[…] According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, the median hourly wage for those who work in centers for children ages zero to five is $10.60 an hour. ‘If they were employed full-time, for the standard 2,080 hours a year, that would translate to about $22,000 a year,’ the report notes. That’s below the poverty line for a family of four. And it turns out that three-quarters of these workers are showing up to their jobs full time.

Those who care for the very youngest are also paid less than those who care for slightly older children. […]

[…]A third of nannies make less than minimum wage. Home health and personal care aides make a median wage of $9.70. This means that those who care for our children, elderly parents, and disabled loved ones are often barely scraping by. […]”

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Health Services, Office of Planning Research and Evaluation, visit their website.  To download a free PDF of the second report, click here. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, visit their website.

 

3. “Discrimination Abounds”

By C.W.
The Economist
November 19, 2013

Citing: Women, Business and the Law 2014: Removing Restrictions to Enhance Gender Equality by The World Bank and Women and Banks: Are Female Customers Facing Discrimination? by Noreena Hertz, Institute for Public Policy Research and Financial Inclusion and Legal Discrimination Against Women Evidence from Developing Countries by Asli Demirguc-Kunt, Leora Klapper, and Dorothe Singer, The World Bank.

“Gender-based financial exclusion is deeply ingrained across the world. According to a recent paper by the World Bank more than 1.3 billion women are "largely outside the formal financial system".

Academics refer to the “gender gap” in access to financial services. Regionally, the gap is largest in South Asia, where 41% of men report having a savings account compared to only 25% of women...Women are also less likely to get credit, whether from a bank or a more informal moneylender. […]

[…]Explaining the problem is tricky. Some research suggests that the lower use of financial services by women can be explained by other gender-based differences. Men are likely to be in better-paying jobs, and so are more likely to need savings accounts. Female entrepreneurs may also choose to enter less capital-intensive industries which require less debt and therefore less finance. […]

[…A] series of fascinating calculations, based on records of 150,000 interviews, illustrates the scale of the problem. In countries where women face legal discrimination in the ability to work or are required by law to obey their husband, women are significantly less likely than men to own an account. They are also less likely to borrow. And similar results are found when daughters do not have equal inheritance rights to property from their parents.

But things may be getting better. Another recent report from the Bank suggests that many countries are gradually dismantling longstanding discriminatory practices. […]

[…] But more should be done. When women cannot save, they are vulnerable to income shocks. If women cannot borrow, they cannot invest in their future. […]”

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about The World Bank, visit their website. To download a free PDF of the second report, click here. To learn more about the Institute for Public Policy Research, visit their website. To download a free PDF of the third report, click here.

 

4. “Pay Equity Report Completed”

By Hugh McQuaid
CT News Junkie
November 20, 2013

Citing: The Gender Wage Gap in Connecticut: Findings and Recommendations by The Gender Wage Gap Task Force

“A Tuesday report from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office encouraged employers to publish their salary ranges as part of a series of recommendations to reduce pay disparity between what men and women earn in Connecticut.

The report was the product of a nine-month study on the gender wage gap, which was commissioned by Malloy and conducted by the departments of Labor and Economic and Community Development.

According to the report, women working full time in Connecticut earn an average of 22-24 percent less than their male counterparts. Even when contributing factors like education, experience, hours, and career choices were taken into account, the report suggested women still make 5-10 percent less than men.

The recommendations include raising awareness of the pay gap and promoting best practices among employers. They also suggest encouraging women to explore careers in science and technology fields. Another recommendation calls for a partnership between the Labor Department and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women to conduct a deeper inquiry on the issue. […]”

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the The Gender Wage Gap Commission, click here.

 

5. “Wage Gap for Women of Color Persists, Fuels Poverty, New Study Finds”

By Yana Kunichoff
Truthout
November 21, 2013

Citing: Closing the Wage Gap is Crucial for Women of Color and Their Families by National Women’s Law Center

“[…] A new study by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) - a Washington, DC-based advocacy organization - shows that in the same full-time jobs as their male counterparts, women earn only 77 cents to the dollar earned by a man.

And it’s not a gendered phenomenon only - women of color earn less than men of the same race and white women, with African-American women earning 64 cents to a white man's dollar, and Hispanic woman earning even less - only 54 cents.

Census numbers back up the study and demonstrate that women of color consistently earn less than men of color: Both African-American and Hispanic women make 88 cents for every dollar paid to an African-American or Hispanic man, respectively.[…]

‘This report is really highlighting the double burden that women of color face,’ said Katherine Gallagher Robbins, a senior policy analyst at the National Women's Law Center. ‘What we really wanted to highlight was just how important it is to look at the intersection of race and gender and ethnicity to drill down to how all of these levels of inequality are hurting women's economic security.’[…]

[…] The wage gap puts an "undue burden" on families with one female earner only, the study notes. In many communities, African-American and Hispanic women are likely to support families on their own, meaning that a lower annual wage translates to more woman-headed families in poverty. […]”

To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the National Women’s Law Center, visit their website.

 

 

New Research

1. The Gender Jobs Split: How Young Men and Women Experience the Labour Market

Ian Brinkley, Katy Jones and Neil Lee
The Work Foundation and the Trades Union Congress

November 1, 2013

The UK labour market over the past five years has performed very differently from previous downturns. Policy makers are still struggling to work out how much of this difference is a one-off generated by the exceptional nature if a recession resulting from a financial crisis and how much is caused by long term changes in the nature of employment. The youth labour market is no exception. For young people entering the labour market the first few years of employment can be crucial. And these first few years vary significantly by gender, with young women and men experiencing different pathways into the labour market. This touchstone Extra considers how the pathways into work for young people vary by gender.

To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about The Work Foundation, visit their website. To learn more about the Trades Union Congress, visit their website.

2. How Do Trends in Women’s Labor Force Activity and Marriage Patterns Affect Social Security Replacement Rates?

April Yanyuan Wu, Nadia S. Karamcheva, Alicia H. Munnell, and Patrick J. Purcell
U.S. Social Security Administration
November 4, 2013

This article examines how women's increased labor force participation, increased earnings, and reduced marriage rates affect Social Security replacement rates over time. Based on data from the Health and Retirement Study and Modeling Income in the Near Term, our estimates show that Social Security replacement rates have dropped sharply at both the household and individual levels, and the declines will continue for future retirees. We also find that this aggregate change masks a complex relationship between replacement rates and the marital status and income levels of individuals. The decline in replacement rates over time is largest for married couples with husbands having higher earnings. Increases in the labor force activity and earnings of women explain more than one-third of the change. By contrast, the impact of changing marital patterns is relatively small. Changes to the full retirement age and the timing of benefit claiming explain much of the remaining decline.

To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the U.S. Social Security Administration, visit their website.

 

3. Resetting the Trillion-Dollar Student-Loan Debt Problem

David A. Bergeron, Elizabeth Baylor, and Joe Valenti
Center for American Progress
November 21, 2013

In ever-increasing numbers, students enrolled in our nation’s colleges and universities are borrowing to meet educational expenses. As college costs rise, so too does the amount each student is borrowing. While federal student loans can be consolidated, these and private loans cannot be refinanced. If refinancing of student loans were available, borrowers could see significantly reduced monthly payments; lenders—including the federal government—could see increased repayment rates; and we all could see more economic activity, as a portion of each student-loan borrower’s income could be spent in other sectors of the economy or saved for larger purchases. In this issue brief, we review a number of proposals pending before Congress and recommend a number of elements that need to be included in a plan to permit student-loan refinancing.

To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Center for American Progress, visit their website.

 

4. Low Wages and Scant Benefits Leave Many In-Home Workers Unable to Make Ends Meet

Heidi Shierholz
Economic Policy Institute
November 26, 2013

In-home workers—those whose worksites are private homes—are critical to the U.S. economy. They free the time and attention of other workers by tending to children, cleaning, providing essential support that allows seniors and people with disabilities or illnesses to live at home, and performing other home care tasks. They are professionals but tend to work in the shadows, socially isolated and often without employment contracts, leaving them with little job security and vulnerable to exploitation.

To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Economic Policy Institute, visit their website.

5. Necessary Reductions or Increased Support? Parental Investments in Children during the Great Recession

Sabino Kornrich and Anna Lunn
Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
November 2013

A central concern for scholars of inequality is understanding how economic shifts influence the intergenerational transmission of advantage and disadvantage. In this article, we examine the impact of one such event – the Great Recession of the late 2000s – on one potential mechanism of transmission: parents’ financial investments in children. Because parents at different points in the income distribution have different resources, they may make different decisions or have different abilities to respond to times of economic hardship and uncertainty. We find that during the Great Recession, parents were less likely to spend on child care and spent less on enrichment goods and services for the home, regardless of their position in the income distribution. For education, however, we find that low-income parents were less likely to spend and that those who did spend spent less than before the recession began. High-income parents were equally likely to spend after the onset of the recession and spent even larger amounts than before.

To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, visit their website.

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