Research Making the News
Research Making the News
Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:
1. “Weak Jobs Recovery Slams Couples Two Ways”
By Allison Linn
October 31, 2013
Citing: Women's Jobs Reaching Pre-Recession Numbers by Institute for Women's Policy Research
“The weak jobs recovery has hit men and women in different — but nevertheless harsh — ways, and that's leaving many couples struggling to get by despite the fact that the economy has been adding jobs at a trickle for years now.
[…] For women, the good news is that, according to the latest payrolls data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs held by women is now higher than when the Great Recession officially began nearly six years ago, in December of 2007…But the bad news is that while some women have certainly scored good jobs, others are struggling with positions that are low-paid, part-time or temporary, and perhaps lacking benefits. […]
Men can’t even claim that victory: The number of jobs held by men is still substantially lower than when the nation went into recession nearly six years ago, according to the latest data on U.S. payrolls. That’s partly because men lost so many more jobs than women, leaving them with much more ground to make up. […]
‘Some of the industries that got hit early on … haven’t quite grown yet,’ said Jeffrey Hayes, study director with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which has been tracking the trend.
Even more worrisome, Shierholz said, is that the number of jobs held by both men and women should be much higher than in December of 2007 for the labor market to be considered healthy. According to her calculations, about 8.2 million more Americans would be on U.S. payrolls — 4.5 million men and 3.7 million women — if the Great Recession hadn’t happened. […]”
2. “Expanding DC’s Paid Sick Days Would Bring $7.9 Million In Benefits To Employers”
By Bryce Covert
October 31, 2013
Citing: Valuing Good Health in the District of Columbia: The Costs and Benefits of the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013 by Claudia Williams and Jeff Hayes, Institute for Women's Policy Research
“While Washington, DC has a law that requires businesses to give workers between three and seven paid sick days a year, lawmakers in the city council are pushing to expand it to cover tipped workers, who are currently excluded. A new analysis from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that doing so would bring about $7.9 million in benefits to employers in the area each year.
The benefits come mostly from reducing worker turnover. ‘Because workers value earned sick days, when they have that benefit, they are less likely to look for a different job,’ the report notes. The analysis predicts a 5 percent reduction in turnover, saving employers about 20 percent of the total compensation for those who stay on the job. Illnesses in the workplace also cost employers in reduced productivity to the tune of about $533,000 a year. The savings of avoiding that drop in productivity are expected to come to $7.45 per worker a week, or 20 cents per hour per covered worker. […]
[…]There’s already evidence that DC’s current law hasn’t been the job killer critics claim. It hasn’t discouraged business owners from basing headquarters in the city, nor has it encouraged them to move. The law has also significantly increased the number of businesses that provide paid sick days, from half before its passage to nearly 70 percent in 2012. Yet nearly 80 percent of the city’s restaurant workers say they don’t get paid days off for sickness or to care for an ill family member. As a result, nearly two-thirds have had to work while sick.
Five other cities — Jersey City, NJ; Portland, OR; New York City; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA — and the state of Connecticut also have paid sick days policies. […]”
3. “Moms More Exhausted Than Dads at Work, Home and Leisure, Study Says”
By Emily Alpert
Los Angeles Times
October 8, 2013
Citing: Parents’ Time with Kids More Rewarding Than Paid Work — and More Exhausting by Wendy Wang, Pew Research Center
“Despite strides toward gender equality, women still shoulder more work at home and feel more fatigued by their daily grind, a new analysis from the Pew Research Center shows. Whether at work or at home – and even at leisure -- mothers said they felt more exhausted than fathers, Pew found.
The new study is based on data from the American Time Use Survey, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earlier rounds of the survey yielded estimates on how Americans spent their time, but the 2010 survey was the first to ask whether people felt tired, happy or stressed during different activities.
Dads devote much more time to caring for children and keeping up the house than they used to, but they still lag far behind moms, who spend almost twice as many hours on those tasks weekly, Pew found. Fathers still spend more time working for pay, on average, than mothers do.
Pew also found that when dads pitch in at home, they don’t always do the same work that moms do. On average, moms spent much more time cooking and cleaning, while dads chipped in a few more hours doing household repairs and maintenance, such as mowing the lawn.
In addition, “dads spend almost the same amount of time as mom in terms of playing with kids, but they do less in other areas of child care,” said Wendy Wang, a research associate at the Pew Research Center. […]”
4. “Low Fast-Food Wages Come at High Public Cost, Reports Say”
By Michael A. Fletcher
The Washington Post
October 15, 2013
Citing: Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry by Sylvia Allegretto, Marc Doussard, Dave Graham-Squire, Ken Jacobs, Dan Thompson and Jeremy Thompson, and Super-Sizing Public Costs: How Low Wages at Top Fast-Food Chains Leave Taxpayers Footing the Bill by the National Employment Law Project
“Taxpayers are spending nearly $7 billion a year to supplement the wages of fast-food workers, even as the leading fast-food companies earn billions of dollars in annual profits, according to a pair of reports released Tuesday.
More than half of the nation’s 1.8 million ‘core’ fast-food workers rely on the federal safety net to make ends meet, the reports said. Together, they collect nearly $1.9 billion through the earned income tax credit, $1 billion in food stamps and $3.9 billion through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to a report by economists at the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor Center and the University of Illinois.
Overall, the ‘core’ fast-food workers are twice as likely to rely on public assistance than workers in other fields, said one of the reports, which examined nonmanagerial fast-food employees who work at least 11 hours a week and 27 weeks a year.
Even among the 28 percent of fast-food workers who were on the job 40 hours a week, the report said, more than half relied on the federal safety net to get by.
Those workers are left to rely on the public safety net even though the nation’s seven largest publicly traded fast-food companies netted a combined $7.4 billion in profits last year, while paying out $53 million in salaries to their top executives and distributing $7.7 billion to shareholders, according to the second report, by the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group. […]”
To read the full article, click here. To download a free PDF of the first report, click here. To learn more about the UC Berkeley Labor Center, visit their website. To download a free PDF of the second report, click here. To learn more about the National Employment Law Project, visit their website.
5. “The New 'Slacker' Millennial Guy’”
By Joan Williams
The Huffington Post
October 17, 2013
Citing: Overwork and the Slow Convergence in the Gender Gap in Wages by Youngjoo Cha, Indiana University and Kim A. Weeden, Cornell University
“[…] Extreme schedules remain a key metric of manliness. ‘He's a real man; he works 90-hour weeks. He's a slacker; he works 50 hours a week,’ commented a Silicon Valley engineer. And men are paid handsomely for putting in such hours. An important new study by Youngjoo Cha and Kim A. Weeden reports that the wage premium for ‘overwork’ -- working more than 50 hours a week -- has risen sharply. In 1979, there was actually a wage penalty for overwork; but this turned into a wage premium after the mid-1990s. Because men tend to overwork more than women, the rising overwork premium raised men's wages more than women's, and has effectively erased the advantage women gained by increasing their higher education levels. […]
[...] This mindset, created by the peculiar demography of upper-level management, is increasingly out of sync with most of the workforce. Younger men increasingly want schedules that work around family needs -- just as women have been demanding for years.[…]
Millennial men are beginning to do what women have done for decades: to work as consultants or start their own businesses that give them the flexibility for better work-family balance. A forthcoming study of New Models of Legal Practice by the Center for WorkLife Law (which I direct) documents lawyers in their prime who left large, prestigious law firms so they could practice law in ways that allow them to be more involved in children's lives. […]”
1. Expanding Social Security Benefits for Financially Vulnerable Populations
National Council of Women's Organizations and Center for Community Change
Social Security benefits are especially important to populations that experience greater economic insecurity as they age — particularly women, people of color, and same-sex couples. These populations are often disadvantaged both as workers and consumers, which contributes to their increased financial vulnerability in retirement. Social Security, from the beginning, has included features that partially offset the effects of workplace disadvantages. This legacy should be built upon by the enactment of the modest changes proposed in this white paper. This paper outlines five key policy changes that would help to build upon our Social Security system and help to make sure that it functions even better for women, same sex spouses, and low-income people.
To download a free PDF of the report, click here. To learn more about National Council of Women's Organizations, visit their website. To learn more about the Center for Community Change, visit their website.
2. Investing In Women's Employment
Kirsten Newitt, Alastair Usher and Ariane Hegewisch on behalf of the
International Finance Corporation
This report outlines how investing in women’s employment has led to enhanced business performance and productivity for companies in diverse countries and sectors. It was produced by WINvest, a World Bank Group partnership with the private sector for promoting women’s employment.
3. The State of Women of Color in the United States: Too Many Barriers Remain for This Growing and Increasingly Important Population
Farah Ahmad and Sarah Iverson
Center for American Progress
Throughout the 20th century, women fought for and achieved countless victories for women’s rights and became a political and economic force in our society after winning the right to vote, equal pay, and reproductive rights. While women have continued to organize for collective gains into the 21st century, the benefits of those achievements have not been equally shared. Over time, those gaps have expanded into wide and deep inequalities for some women—namely, women of color. Despite making meaningful gains in education and entrepreneurship, women of color face unique challenges, especially in regards to their economic security.
4. The Global Gender Gap Report 2013
World Economic Forum
The eighth annual edition of the Report ranks 136 countries on their ability to close the gender gap in four key areas: economic participation and opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival, educational attainment, political participation and economic equality. Of the 133 countries that were measured in both 2012 and 2013, 86 actually improved their gender gap during this time. Overall, the Report finds Iceland the most advanced country in the world in terms of gender equality for the fifth year running. It, along with Finland (2nd), Norway (3rd) and Sweden (4th), has now closed over 80% of its gender gap. These countries are joined in the top 10 by the Philippines, which enters the top five for the first time, Ireland (6th), New Zealand (7th), Denmark (8th), Switzerland (9th) and Nicaragua (10th).
5. Working Longer: Older Americans’ Attitudes on Work and Retirement
Jennifer Benz, Matt Sedensky, Trevor Tompson, and Jennifer Agiesta
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research
In the United States, the population aged 65 years and older is growing rapidly. In 2010, these older Americans comprised 13 percent of the U.S. population. Population projections for 2030 show a marked increase, with older adults comprising 19 percent of the population or an estimated 72 million older adults. Furthermore, the number of older people choosing to remain on the job has been ticking upward since the late 1990s, and they now represent the fastest-growing segment in the country’s workforce. By 2020, an estimated one-fourth of American workers will be 55 or older, up from 19 percent in 2010. For both men and women, the rate of older Americans working longer has been increasing steadily since the 1990s. Faced with the expectation of living healthier for longer, older adults may opt to remain in the workforce for longer and defer savings, pensions, and Social Security for a later age. Increased workforce participation of older adults has implications for retirement policy, Social Security and health care financing, and the behavior of employers and employees alike.
6. The Business Case for Racial Equity
Altarum Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
A report detailing the economic impact of racism, and the benefits of advancing racial equity as the demography of our nation continues to evolve.