Monthly Archives: October 2016

By the Numbers: Women Continue to Face Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace – An Analysis of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charges (Fiscal Years 2011-2015)

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, Data Brief, October 2016

From the press release:
Tens of thousands of women throughout the United States continue to experience pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, according to a new analysis. The National Partnership for Women & Families conducted the study using the most recent data available from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It finds that, between October 2010 and September 2015, nearly 31,000 charges of pregnancy discrimination were filed with the EEOC and state-level agencies, and the number of charges remained relatively unchanged from year to year. The analysis is being released today, on the 38th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). ….

Dark Money

Source: OpenSecrets.org, 2016

Dark Money Groups spend millions influencing our elections without reporting where the money came from. Learn more about their growing influence below. ….

From the blog post:
…. OpenSecrets.org is excited to announce a major new expansion of DarkMoney.org to better help journalists, watchdogs and the public track the IRS forms of thousands of groups and see how what appears on those filings meshes with what actually happened in the 2016 election cycle. This new, vastly larger set of tools adds to the suite of functions and information already available on the site.

Beginning today, OpenSecrets is providing downloadable financial information for over 20,000 nonprofit organizations — up from less than 500 — in the largest, cleanest and most detailed free resource for people researching the activities and networks of non-charity nonprofits and dark money organizations. Getting the data previously had been a difficult, very 20th-century process: We had to manually collect the 990 reports directly from the groups themselves, or get them in costly, convoluted batches from the IRS. Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Knight Foundation and additional funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, we have integrated digitized data on organizations, provided by Guidestar, with the rest of OpenSecrets’ data resources.

For the first time, visitors to OpenSecrets can see all grants made by 501(c)4, 501(c)5 and 501(c)6 organizations. If a grant was made to another politically active nonprofit – transfers between groups are common – visitors can easily see that group’s financial information, too, as well as whether it spends money on political activity.

This information goes far beyond other data sets made public to this point. The IRS’s own e-file data, released over the summer, is messier and less comprehensive. The new OpenSecrets.org data set uniquely does not depend on a group having electronically filed its tax returns with the IRS or having received approval as tax-exempt from the agency; all filings are there, with digitized, standardized data. Where applicable, the data has been matched with Federal Election Commission filings showing political activity, going back years further than the IRS e-file data. ….

Global Gender Gap Report 2016

Source: World Economic Forum, 2016

From the press release:
The world is facing an acute misuse of talent by not acting faster to tackle gender inequality, which could put economic growth at risk and deprive economies of the opportunity to develop, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016, which is published today.

The report is an annual benchmarking exercise that measures progress towards parity between men and women in four areas: Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, Economic Opportunity and Political Empowerment. In this latest edition, the report finds that progress towards parity in the key economic pillar has slowed dramatically with the gap – which stands at 59% – now larger than at any point since 2008.

Behind this decline are a number of factors. One is salary, with women around the world on average earning just over half of what men earn despite, on average, working longer hours taking paid and unpaid work into account. Another persistent challenge is stagnant labour-force participation, with the global average for women standing at 54%, compared with 81% for men. The number of women in senior positions also remains stubbornly low, with only four countries in the world having equal numbers of male and female legislators, senior officials and managers, despite the fact that 95 countries now have as many – if not more – women educated at university level.

Non-Standard Work and Limits on Freedom of Association: A Human Rights-Based Approach

Source: Valerio De Stefano, Industrial Law Journal, Advance Access, First published online: October 19, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The debate on how to adjust existing regulation to keep pace with the rise and spread of the non-standard workforce worldwide has mainly concentrated on individual employment law. This article means to draw attention to some collective labour regulation issues that have a significant impact on the labour protection of non-standard workers. Without subscribing to the idea that the standard employment relationship is an outmoded model of regulation, this article argues that some existing restrictions on collective rights are failing to keep pace with transformations of labour markets that occurred in recent decades and in particular with the growth in the number of non-standard workers. Consequently, these workers are legally or practically denied access to the meaningful exercise of collective rights. Some of these restrictions, such as antitrust bans on collective bargaining, regulations imposing strike ballots, limitations of secondary action and the distinction between political and economic strikes, are called into question since they disproportionately affect non-standard workers and are at odds with the recognition of collective rights, and in particular the right to strike, as human rights.

Update on State Revenues

Source: Don Boyd, Rockefeller Institute of Government Director of Fiscal Studies, presentation at the National Association of Budget Officers (NASBO) Fall Meeting on October 14, 2016

Rockefeller Institute of Government Director of Fiscal Studies Don Boyd presented a sober picture of state tax revenues in a recent presentation to the National Association of Budget Officers Fall Meeting on October 14, 2016.

In analysis lacking short term promise, Boyd highlighted the following:
• States forecast weak growth in state personal and sales tax revenue collections in fiscal 2017.
• Public revenue forecasts do not fully reflect the April-June tax revenue declines and the recent further weakening of sales tax. We expect forecasts to come down further.
• Low inflation and slow real growth suggest continued slow growth in withholding and in consumption subject to sales tax
• Stock market booms and busts often lead to surges and falls in income tax revenue that swamp growth driven by inflation and the real economy. The stock market so far this year has been tepid.
• Not an ebullient environment for revenue.

The analysis was based in large part on data collection and analysis by Institute Senior Researcher Lucy Dadayan. The presentation reviewed recent trends in state tax revenue collections and their relationship to the economy. Particularly noteworthy is the continuing slowdown in state sales tax revenue, and continued weakness in wages and income tax withholdings.

Looking for Local Labor Market Effects of NAFTA

Source: Shushanik Hakobyan, John McLaren, Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 98 No. 4, October 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Using U.S. Census data for 1990 to 2000, we estimate effects of NAFTA on U.S.wages. We look for effects of the agreement by industry and by geography, measuring each industry’s vulnerability to Mexican imports and each locality’s dependence on vulnerable industries. We find evidence of both effects, dramatically lowering wage growth for blue-collar workers in the most affected industries and localities (even for service-sector workers in affected localities, whose jobs do not compete with imports). These distributional effects are much larger than aggregate welfare effects estimated by other authors.

Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses – 2015

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, USDL-16-2056, October 27, 2016

There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private
industry employers in 2015, which occurred at a rate of 3.0 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See tables 1 and 2.) The 2015 rate continues a
pattern of declines that, apart from 2012, occurred annually for the last 13 years. ….

Public Sector
An estimated 752,600 injury and illness cases were reported in 2015 among the approximately 18.4 million state and local government workers—for example, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, and police or fire protection—resulting in a rate of 5.1 cases per 100 full-time workers. The rate among these workers was relatively unchanged from a year earlier (5.0 cases) but was higher than the rate among private industry workers (3.0 cases) in 2015. Approximately 4 in 5 injuries and illnesses reported in the public sector occurred among local government workers in 2015, resulting in an injury and illness rate of 5.6 cases per 100 full-time workers—higher than the 3.7 cases per 100 full-time workers in state government. The incident rate of injuries and illnesses among state government workers declined significantly from 2014 (4.1 cases), while the rate among local government workers was statistically unchanged from a year earlier. ….

How the Saver’s Tax Credit Can Boost Your Retirement Savings

Source: National Institute on Retirement Security and the Pension Rights Center, 2016

The average retirement benefit from Social Security may not be enough to pay for your expenses during retirement. The federal government encourages low-income earners to save for retirement through a tax credit called the Saver’s Credit. It is a non-refundable tax credit for individuals who make under $30,750 or married couples who make under $61,500 a year. Only 25 percent of those eligible for the Saver’s Credit based on their income take advantage of the credit.