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.
1. “Unemployment Among Single Mother Families”
2. "The Gender Wage Gap: 2008"
3. Young Workers: A Lost Decade
4. Women and HIV/AIDS in the United States
5. Rising Senior Unemployment and the Need to Work at Older Ages
6. Child Care Assistance in 2007
7. Reduced Hours, Full Success: Part-Time Partners in U.S. Law Firms
Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:
By Rob Stein
The Washington Post
September 23, 2009
Citing: “A Real-Time Look at the Impact of the Recession on Women’s Family Planning and Pregnancy Decisions,” by the Guttmacher Institute.
“The recession is apparently prompting more women to try to delay having babies, according to the first survey aimed at documenting the effects of the economic downtown on childbearing.
Nearly half of working-class women want to put off childbearing or to have fewer children, according to the survey, which was commissioned by the Guttmacher Institute, a private, nonprofit reproductive-health research organization.
[…]"The recession is putting many women and their partners between a rock and a hard place," Camp said. "They want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy more than ever, but for many of them, the ability to afford the birth control they need is getting harder than ever."
[…]At the same time, the survey found that financial problems were making it harder for women to use good contraception. […]”
By Associated Press
September 3, 2009
Citing: America’s Changing Workforce: Recession Turns a Graying Office Grayer by the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends Project
“Older Americans will make up virtually all of the growth in the U.S. work force in the coming years as a nearly unprecedented number hold onto jobs and younger people decide to stay in school.
The study by the Pew Research Center, an independent research group, highlights a rapidly graying labor market due to longer life spans, an aging baby boomer population and a souring economy that has made it harder to retire.
Pew's survey and analysis of government data, being released Thursday, found the share of Americans ages 55 and older who have or were seeking a job rose to 40 percent this year, the highest level since 1961. In contrast, people 16 to 24 who were active in the labor market decreased to 57 percent, down from 66 percent in 2000.
[…]In all, the number of older workers is projected to increase by 11.9 million in the next few years. They will make up nearly 1 in 4 workers by 2016.
‘When it comes to work, this recession is having a differential impact by age. It's keeping older adults in the work force longer, and younger adults out of the work force longer,’ said Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Social and Demographic Trends Project. ‘Both of these trends pre-dated the current downturn, both have been intensified by it, and both are poised to outlast it.’ […]”
By Steven Greenhouse
New York Times
September 1, 2009
Citing: Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Violations of Employment and Labor Laws in American Cities by Annette Bernhardt, Ruth Milkman, Nik Theodore, Douglas Heckathorn, Mirabai Auer, James DeFilippis, Ana Luz González, Victor Narro, Jason Perelshteyn, Diana Polson, and Michael Spiller.
“Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The study, the most comprehensive examination of wage-law violations in a decade, also found that 68 percent of the workers interviewed had experienced at least one pay-related violation in the previous work week.
[…] “The conventional wisdom has been that to the extent there were violations, it was confined to a few rogue employers or to especially disadvantaged workers, like undocumented immigrants,” said Nik Theodore, an author of the study and a professor of urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “What our study shows is that this is a widespread phenomenon across the low-wage labor market in the United States.”
[…]The study found that women were far more likely to suffer minimum wage violations than men, with the highest prevalence among women who were illegal immigrants. Among American-born workers, African-Americans had a violation rate nearly triple that for whites. […]”
To read the full article, click here. To download a free copy of the report, click here.
Each selection includes a short excerpt from the research and a link to the report:
By Ashley English, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D, and Ariane Hegewisch
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“Women who maintain families without a spouse present are almost twice as likely as married men to be unemployed, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for August 2009. One of every eight women (12.2 percent) who are the sole breadwinners in their families is unemployed compared with one of every sixteen married men […]. Seasonally unadjusted data show that unemployment for the labor force as a whole has increased by only one percentage point since April 2009. In contrast unemployment grew substantially more for women who maintain families (2.2 percentage points).”
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“The ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings in 2008 was 77.1 for full-time, year-round workers, down from 77.8 in 2007. (This means the gender wage gap is now 22.9 percent.) This year-to-year change is not statistically significant. The annual earnings figure reflects gender differences in both hourly wages and the number of hours worked each year by full-time workers. If part-time and part-year workers were included, the ratio would be much lower, as women are more likely than men to work reduced schedules in order to manage child-rearing and other caregiving work.”
AFL-CIO and Working America
“This report, based on a nationwide survey of 1,156 people by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO community affiliate Working America, examines young workers’ economic standing, attitudes and hopes for the future. It also draws a comparison with findings from a similar 1999AFL-CIO study, as well as with attitudes of workers older than 35. The findings reveal a lost decade for young workers in America. Not only have young workers lost financial ground over the past 10 years; they have also lost some of their optimism.”
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
“Women have been affected by HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic, an impact that has grown over time. Women of color, particularly Black women, have been especially hard hit and represent the majority of new HIV infections and AIDS cases among women, and the majority of women living with the disease. Many women with HIV are low-income and most have important family responsibilities, potentially complicating the management of their illness. Research suggests that women with HIV face limited access to care and experience disparities in access, relative to men. Women are also more biologically susceptible to HIV infection during sex, and experience different clinical symptoms and complications. Given these trends and issues, efforts to stem the tide of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic will increasingly depend on how and to what extent its effect on women and girls is addressed.”
By Richard W. Johnson
“Unemployment rates for older workers reached record levels in 2009, partly because fewer workers eligible for early retirement benefits are dropping out of the labor force. Growing concerns about the adequacy of retirement savings and whether retirees will have enough money to live comfortably in later life appear to have discouraged early retirement. Instead, more older workers are now remaining in the labor force and searching for work after they lose their jobs. The need for older adults to keep working raises the imperative for new policies that help address the special challenges that older job seekers face.”
By Hannah Matthews
Center for Law and Social Policy
“States report spending in the CCDBG [Child Care and Development Block Grant] and TANF [Temporary Assistance to Needy Families] programs to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The latest year HHS has released spending information for CCDBG and TANF is from FY 2007, covering the period of October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007. This paper provides information on CCDBG and TANF child care funds that were spent during that time period as well as national trends in child care spending in recent years. This paper is based on information that states report to the federal government and may differ from analyses based on state fiscal year expenditures.”
By Cynthia Thomas Calvert, Linda Bray Chanow, Linda Marks
The Project for Attorney Retention
“Part-time arrangements have long been viewed as bullets to the heart of lawyers’ careers—and dubious propositions for law firms’ bottom lines. This report […] shows that law firms can create successful reduced-hours programs—and that part-time lawyers and their law firms can flourish when they do. In 2000, the Project for Attorney Retention developed its best-practice “balanced hours” model, which challenged the then-standard practice of taking part-time lawyers off the partnership track. As the number of part-time partners increased, from 1.6% in 1999 to 3% in 2008, questions emerged about how to compensate part-time partners, what to expect from them in terms of business development and firm service, and the best ways to create successful practices.[…] PAR interviewed 109 lawyers for this study[…].Seventy-five of the part-time lawyers were female; eight were partners of color. In lengthy telephone interviews, they answered questions about their career history, firms, schedules, practices, clients, compensation, business development, colleagues, satisfaction, and personal lives. PAR also interviewed additional partners of color who were not working part-time, and several managing partners. The study focused on partners in Colorado, the District of Columbia, and San Francisco, and also included partners from other regions.”
To download a free PDF of the full report, click here. To learn more about the Project for Attorney Retention, an initiative of the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California Hastings College of the Law, visit their website.
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