Below is the newest installation of Research News Reporter (RNR) Online. Previous editions can be viewed in the Archives.
IWPR's Research News Reporter is distributed to highlight informative, innovative, and sometimes controversial research related to women and their families.
Research Making the News
Research Making News ____________________________
Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:
By Stephanie Bouchard
Healthcare Finance News
May 17, 2011
Citing: Paid Sick Days in Connecticut Would Improve Health Outcomes, Help Control Health Care Costs by Kevin Miller, Ph.D., Robert Drago, Ph.D., and Claudia Williams, Institute for Women's Policy Research
"As the Connecticut Legislature debates a bill requiring private businesses to provide paid sick days to its workers, the Institute for Women's Policy Research has issued a report saying paid sick days will save the state--and the healthcare system--money.
IWPR [...] based its report on an analysis of data from the National Health Interview Survey. The analysis found that those with paid sick days "experience better self-reported health, a lower likelihood of delayed medical care, and fewer visits to hospital emergency departments.
The IWPR reports that 37 percent of Connecticut's private sector workforce (471,000 workers) are without paid sick days. The organization determined that if those workers were to gain paid sick days, "nearly 26,000 emergency department visits per year would be prevented, resulting in healthcare cost reductions of $18 million annually" and saving Connecticut taxpayers an estimated $4.7 million annually from reduced emergency department use."
By Ryan MacClanathan
May 16, 2011
Citing: The Potential Impact of the Great Recession on Future Retirement Incomes by Barbara A. Butrica, Richard W. Johnson, and Karen E. Smith, Center for Retirement Research
"[...A] new study says the Great Recession may have permanently reduced future retirees' incomes by an average of $2,300 a year.
Somewhat surprisingly, it's not the nation's high unemployment rate that receives the brunt of the blame. Instead, it's the widespread slowdown in wage growth, which many economists predict will become permanent, that's having the biggest impact on our golden years' finances, according to the study. [...]
Some highlights of the study:
·Workers between the ages of 25 and 34 in 2008 (the height of the recession) will see an average drop of 4.9 percent in retirement income after age 70--a hit to their pocketbooks of roughly $3,000 a year. Furthermore, the slowdown in wage growth will accumulate over their entire careers.
·Those between the ages of 55 to 64 in 2008 will see a 4.1 percent drop in retirement income, primarily in the form of lower Social Security benefits. This problem is compounded by the fact that many older workers who lost their jobs during the recession were forced into early retirement. [...]
·The decline in household income will increase the number of Americans living on limited incomes at age 70. Among people between the ages of 25 to 64 in 2008, the share with incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty level at age 70 will increase 7.4 percent. That translates into an additional 711,000 adults living in or near poverty."
By Sabrina Tavernise
The New York Times
May 18, 2011
Citing: Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009 by Rose M. Kreider and Renee Ellis, U.S. Census Bureau
"Nearly half of all women between the ages of 25 and 29 have never been married, up from about a quarter of that age group in 1986, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Census Bureau.
The report, which highlighted shifting patterns of marriage and divorce since the 1940s, was based on decades of census data and a survey of about 55,000 adults in 2009.
Among the changes found in the research is the rising median age of first marriages, which in 1950 was 23 for men and 20 for women. In 2009, it was 28 for men and 26 for women.
Divorce rates have leveled off after reaching a high around 1980, the report said. In 2009, about 35 percent of women 40 to 49 had divorced, down from 40 percent in 1996.
The report also gave figures for the number of times people married in their lifetimes, based on the survey conducted in 2009. About half of all those interviewed had been married only once, the report found. An additional 12 percent had been married twice, and a tiny minority--just 3 percent--had been married three or more times.
Marriages were more susceptible to divorce in the early years, the report said. About 10 percent of first marriages ended in divorce within five years, the report said, though the proportion was just 3 percent for Asians and 7 percent for Hispanics. Blacks and whites had similar proportions. [...]"
To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the U.S. Census Bureau, visit their website.
By Julie Rovner
Shots, an NPR blog
May 19, 2011
Citing: The Public Costs of Births Resulting from Unintended Pregnancies: National and State-Level Estimates by Adam Sonfield, Kathryn Kost, Rachel Benson Gold, and Lawrence B. Finer, Guttmacher Institute
"[...A] new study finds that the cost of unintended pregnancies is large, and much of the bill--about $11 billion per year--goes to government programs and ultimately taxpayers.
[...] In the current study, Guttmacher researchers looked at federal and state data to calculate how many births resulting from unintended pregnancies were paid for by public programs, primarily Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
They found that rates of unintended pregnancy are far higher among poor and near-poor women (those with incomes under twice the federal poverty level) than those with higher incomes. As a result, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the 1.6 million births resulting from unintended pregnancies in 2006 were paid for by public health insurance programs.
Put another way, just over half of all births paid for by those programs, 51 percent, were the result of unintended pregnancies. [...]
As a result, the $11.1 billion the programs spent on those unintended pregnancies meant that the federal government and states together spent an average of $180 on maternity and infant care for every woman between the ages of 15 and 44 in the nation."
To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the Guttmacher Institute, visit their website.
By Lisa Rein
The Washington Post
May 25, 2011
Citing: Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board and The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government by the Partnership for Public Services and the American University Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation
"Women working in the federal government are no longer victims of overt discrimination but are still paid less than men in similar jobs and are less likely to become supervisors, a new report says. [...]
The independent agency says a lot has changed for women in federal service since it last looked at the issue in 1992. [...Women] now make up almost a third of the Senior Executive Service, the government's elite cadre of managers, up from 11 percent in 1990. And they accounted for 44 percent of the government's professional and administrative jobs in 2009, up from 12 percent and 20 percent, respectively, in 1976.
The median salary for women in professional and administrative jobs has climbed to 93 percent of that of men in 2009, up from 83 percent in 1991. But the persistent wage gap concerned the merit board. [...]
Some of the merit board's conclusions are echoed in a separate report issued Wednesday by the Partnership for Public Service, showing gender differences in men's and women's satisfaction with their work in government.
That report, prepared with the consulting firm Deloitte, found that women are less likely than men to think they have the power to make and be consulted on decisions at work. Women also are less likely to feel comfortable blowing the whistle on wrongdoing and more skeptical than men that arbitrary actions, favoritism and political coercion are not tolerated in the workplace.
The widest gaps between women and men were felt at the Veterans Affairs Department, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Partnership for Public Service also found that men and women who are not managers reported similar satisfaction with their work-life balance. But among managers, women's satisfaction rates fell 2.4 percentage points behind those of male managers. [...]"
To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of Women in the Federal Government: Ambitions and Achievements, click here. To learn more about the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, visit their website. To access findings and analyses from The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, click here. To learn more about the Partnership for Public Service, visit their website. To learn more about the Institute for Public Policy Implementation, visit their website.
By Catherine Pearson
The Huffington Post
May 31, 2011
Citing: The Effect of Maternity Leave Length and Time of Return to Work on Breastfeeding by Chinelo Ogbuanu, Georgia Division of Public Health, and Saundra Glover, Janice Probst, Jihong Liu, and James Hussey, Arnold School of Public Health
"[...Recent] estimates suggest that less than half of American women [...] breastfeed six months [after giving birth], and only 22 percent breastfeed at one year after birth.
[...A] new study--one of the largest, most nationally-representative in years--suggests that a major factor is the amount of time women take off before returning to work.
[...Researchers] examined the effect of three factors--total maternity leave length, paid maternity leave length and the amount of time women actually took before first returning to work--on both breastfeeding initiation and duration.
They found that the total amount of time women took off before first returning to work, regardless of whether it was paid, did affect breastfeeding rates. Women who waited at least six weeks to return to work were more likely to start breastfeeding. [...]
Those who returned at or after 13 weeks were almost twice as likely to continue breastfeeding predominantly beyond three months, prompting researchers to conclude that if new moms delay their return to work, the overall duration of breastfeeding in the U.S. may lengthen. [...]"
To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the Georgia Division of Public Health, visit their website. To learn more about the Arnold School of Public Health, visit their website.
Research Reports ____________________________
Each selection includes a short exceprt from the research and a link to the report:
Annamaria Sundbye and Ariane Hegewisch
Institute for Women's Policy Research
"[...] The Institute for Women's Policy Research's (IWPR) analysis of Working Mother magazine's "100 Best Companies" finds that almost all of the top companies provide some paid maternity leave and, between 2006 and 2010, these employers dramatically expanded coverage for paternity and adoptive parent leave. Nonetheless, the large majority of the companies listed provide pay for fewer than the 12 weeks of leave guaranteed under the FMLA. Government survey data finds that nationally only 10 percent of private sector employees have access to paid leave. [...]"
Martha Burk, Corporate Accountability Project, National Council of Women's Organizations
Institute for Women's Policy Research
"[...] January 28, 2009, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico issued Executive Order 2009-004 'Fair and Equal Pay for All New Mexicans Initiative' which formally declared that identifying and combating pay inequity and job segregation was the policy of the State of New Mexico and established a 'Governor's Taskforce on Fair and Equal Pay' [...]. The recommendations of The Taskforce address pay equity in the state's direct workforce and in companies seeking to provide goods and services to the state of New Mexico. The recommendations were implemented by means of an executive order in 2010. The New Mexico experience has shown that pay equity reporting can be implemented without legislation and that compliance with new reporting requirements by employers is unproblematic. [...]"
To download a free PDF of the fact sheet, click here. To learn more about the Corporate Accountability Project at the National Council of Women's Organizations, visit their website. To learn more about the Institute for Women's Policy Research, visit our website.
Institute for Women's Policy Research
Black Women's Health Imperative
"[...] Black women are one group for whom Social Security remains especially important. Not only do black households have an average annual income that is lower than the incomes of white households, they also experienced a decline of 4.4 percent in their income on average between 2008 and 2009 (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith 2010). Moreover, black women experience disability at higher rates in their later years than do white women (Fuller-Thomson, et al. 2009). Because Social Security provides benefits until the end of one's life, offers support for those who become disabled, and returns a greater percentage of earnings to lower-wage workers it is an important source of income for black women, albeit one that could be further strengthened to better meet black women's needs. [...]"
Liz Watson, Workplace Flexibility 2010 and Jennifer E. Swanberg, Ph.D., Institute for Workplace Innovation, University of Kentucky
"This report brings new insight to a dynamic field [...] that places low-wage workers squarely in the national conversation on workplace flexibility. [...] This report adds to the scholarship in this area by drilling down to examine low-wage hourly workers' flexibility needs through the lenses of standard (Monday through Friday daytime schedules) and nonstandard work schedules (anything other than a Monday through Friday daytime schedule) and part-time and full time work. Examining the scheduling challenges facing these workers at close range, we find tremendous variation within a workforce often considered to be homogeneous. Through new data analysis, we identified three different types of scheduling challenges--rigidity, unpredictability, and instability--that often play out differently for workers on standard and nonstandard, part-time and full-time schedules. We hope that our findings will both broaden and refine the conversation on flexible work arrangements for low-wage hourly workers."
"To coincide with National Foster Care Month in May, this Data Snapshot explores state and national trends in the number of children in foster care, as well as the number entering foster care, each year from 2000 to 2009, using data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). On September 30, 2009, 424,000 children were in foster care in the United States, a decrease nationally of 23 percent from the 544,000 children in foster care on September 30, 2000. The number of children in foster care at the end of each fiscal year decreased from 2001 to 2004, increased slightly to 511,000 in 2005 and 2006, and then continued to decline steadily to 424,000 at the end of FY 2009. Similarly, the number of children entering foster care each year has decreased overall, from 287,000 children in 2000, to 255,000 children in 2009. However, the number of children entering care has fluctuated over the course of the decade, reaching a high of 308,000 children entering care in 2005 before starting to decline."
To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about Child Trends, visit their website.
6. Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy
Jessica Godofsky, M.P.P., Cliff Zukin, Ph.D., and Carl Van Horn, Ph.D.
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
"This report presents the findings of a nationally representative sample of 571 U.S. residents who graduated from a four-year college between 2006 and 2010. Our overall goal was to better understand the articulation between their formal education and their initial positions in the workforce. We examine how students financed their college education and how much debt they carried away from it, how well college prepared them to enter and be successful in the labor market, and what they would do differently in their college education if they knew then what they know now. We also show the diminished expectation of financial success this generation seems to manifest."
To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, visit their website.