Author Archives: afscme

Impact of the Fight for $15: $68 Billion in Raises, 22 Million Workers

Source: Yannet Lathrop, National Employment Law Project, Data Brief, November 29, 2018

From the summary:
Six years ago, on November 29, 2012, a small group of fast-food workers in New York launched one of the most successful movements of the 21st century when they walked off their jobs and demanded $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Since then, the worker-led movement known as the Fight for $15 has inspired a wave of action on the minimum wage, helping 22 million low-wage workers throughout the country win $68 billion in raises to date. Thanks to the movement, income inequality and flagging paychecks are now among the most urgent economic issues of our time, and a $15 minimum wage is now a widely accepted benchmark. It is a key part of the platform of one of the major political parties, and lawmakers are planning to reintroduce a $15 federal minimum wage bill in the first week of the 116th Congress.

The Strength of Whites’ Ties: How Employers Reward the Referrals of Black and White Jobseekers

Source: Fabiana Silva, Social Forces, Volume 97, Issue 2, December 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Sociologists commonly point to jobseekers’ racially segregated networks and employers’ discriminatory behavior to explain racial inequality in employment. Network scholars argue that, given segregated networks and black and white employees’ unequal position in the labor market, employers’ reliance on employee referrals reproduces black disadvantage. Scholars of discrimination focus instead on employers’ unequal treatment of equally qualified black and white jobseekers. Drawing on an original experiment with a sample of white individuals with hiring responsibilities, I seek to bridge these literatures by examining whether respondents’ racial prejudice affects how they reward employee referrals of black and white applicants from black and white employees. I use a measure of implicit prejudice that is resistant to social desirability and that can capture biases among people who genuinely believe they are unbiased. Whether evaluated by low-prejudiced or high-prejudiced respondents, white applicants benefit greatly from same-race referrals. In contrast, black applicants do not benefit from same-race referrals, even when they are evaluated by low-prejudiced respondents. In fact, black applicants only benefit from having a referral when two conditions are met: the referring employee is white and they are evaluated by a relatively low-prejudiced respondent. These findings suggest that in addition to their disadvantage in access to employee referrals, black jobseekers suffer from a disadvantage in returns to these referrals.

CMS Strengthens Nursing Home Oversight and Safety to Ensure Adequate Staffing

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Press Release, November 30, 2018

Agency works with states, facilities to identify and address potential cases of inadequate staffing
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced actions that will bolster nursing home oversight and improve transparency in order to ensure that facilities are staffed adequately to provide high-quality care. These actions include sharing data with states when potential issues arise regarding staffing levels and the availability of onsite registered nurses; clarifying how facilities should report hours and deduct time for staff meal breaks; and providing facilities with new tools to help ensure their resident census is accurate. ….

…. Research shows the ratio of nurses to residents impacts quality of care and health outcomes. For example, facilities with higher nurse staffing levels tend to have fewer resident hospitalizations. In general, the new payroll-based staffing data shows most facilities have somewhat fewer staff on weekends, but some facilities have significantly lower weekend staffing. Additionally, some facilities have reported days with no registered nurse onsite, although nursing homes are generally required by law to have a registered nurse onsite eight hours a day, seven days a week.

To help address these risks, CMS will use frequently-updated payroll-based data to identify and provide state survey agencies with a list of nursing homes that have a significant drop in staffing levels on weekends, or that have several days in a quarter without a registered nurse onsite. State survey agencies will then be required to conduct surveys on some weekends based on this list. If surveyors identify insufficient nurse staffing levels, the facility will be cited for noncompliance and required to implement a plan of correction. ….

Still a Man’s Labor Market: The Slowly Narrowing Gender Wage Gap

Source: Heidi I. Hartmann and Stephen J. Rose, Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), ID: C474, November 26, 2018

From the press release:
Women today earn just 49 cents to the typical men’s dollar, much less than the 80 cents usually reported, according to a new study by economists Heidi I. Hartmann and Stephen J. Rose released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).

The study, Still a Man’s Labor Market: The Slowly Narrowing Gender Wage Gap, uses the Panel Study on Income Dynamics, a longitudinal dataset to look at the gender earnings gaps between men and women in 15-year time spans. When measured by total earnings across the most recent 15 years for all workers who worked in at least one year, women workers faced a wage gap of 51 percent in the 2001-2015 period. The analysis also found that while the long-term earnings gap has narrowed significantly since 1968, progress has slowed in the last 15 years.

Related:
Abstract

Local government – Ohio, Michigan and Maryland: General Motors’ plant closures underscore the importance of economic diversity

Source: Francis A Mamo, Rachel Cortez, Gregory W. Lipitz, Alexandra S. Parker, Moody’s, Sector Comment, November 28, 2018
(subscription required)

On 26 November, General Motors Company (Baa3 stable) announced it will halt production at four US manufacturing plants as soon as March 2019. The closures are credit negative for several local governments in Ohio (Aa1 stable), Michigan (Aa1 stable) and Maryland (Aaa stable).

Collectively, the four plants employ more than 3,800 people and had a 2017 payroll of $480 million (see exhibit 1). All of the closures are credit negative for the affected local governments, but closure of the Lordstown plant in Warren, Ohio (Baa1 negative) will have a pronounced negative effect on Trumbull County’s (Aa3) employment base….

Community colleges with revenue-backed debt – US: 2019 outlook stable with steadying enrollment, higher state and local revenue

Source: Patrick McCabe, Susan I Fitzgerald, Kendra M. Smith, Moody’s, November 29, 2018
(subscription required)

Our stable outlook indicates our expectations for the credit conditions driving the community colleges with revenue-backed debt sector over the next 12-18 months. Total annual revenue will grow 1.5%-2.5%, with relatively steady enrollment allowing for continued modest net tuition revenue growth. State appropriations and local property tax revenue will also support gradual overall revenue growth. However, increasing pension and retiree healthcare liabilities and some voter resistance to debt issuance are a potential hindrance for some community colleges…..

Is It “Just Work”? The Impact of Work Rewards on Job Satisfaction and Turnover Intent in the Nonprofit, For-Profit, and Public Sectors

Source: Keely Jones Stater, Mark Stater, The American Review of Public Administration, Advance Access, First Published November 27, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article uses the General Social Survey (GSS) to compare the effects of “social” work rewards on job satisfaction and turnover intent for nonprofit, public, and for-profit workers. Drawing on properties of the nonprofit sector, we hypothesize that social rewards should be more prevalent in nonprofit workplaces and have a larger impact on job decisions for nonprofit than for government and for-profit workers. Consistent with this, we find that social rewards are perceived as more prevalent in nonprofit organizations. In addition, having helpful coworkers and having a supervisor who cares about one’s welfare have larger effects on job satisfaction for nonprofit workers than for workers in the other two sectors, and having a helpful supervisor discourages turnover intent to a larger extent in the nonprofit sector than in the for-profit and public sectors. Overall, however, we find that differences in the magnitude of impact of social rewards by sector are less pronounced than theory would suggest.

Report cites gap between exec pay, FTSE 100 company performance

Source: Paulina Pielichata, Pensions & Investments, November 28, 2018

A third of FTSE 100 companies have dissonance between executive pay and performance, a report from CGLytics shows.

In its annual proxy review published Wednesday, the analytics and intelligence firm said the average total shareholder return for FTSE 100 companies decreased to 8% in 2017 from around 12% in 2016. During the same period average total CEO compensation increased 5.5% to £4.9 million ($6.3 million).

In 2017, companies with the largest pay vs. return misalignments were WPP PLC, CRH PLC and Sky Ltd., respectively. On a three-year basis, Shire PLC had the widest such gap, followed by Lloyds Banking Group PLC and WPP respectively…..

Related:
Getting Ready for the Next Proxy Season: 2018 FTSE 100 Proxy Review
Source: CGLytics, 2018
(registration required)

….2018 Proxy Season Highlights

Last season brought some interesting highlights as the executive remuneration policies were due for renewal and up for voting. CEO pay continued to be an area of concern for shareholders as pay equity, transparency, executive pay levels,and pay for performance continued to ratchet higher.
• The average votes in favour of the remuneration report fell slightly lower than the previous year with corporations experiencing significant push back on remuneration policies that investors felt lacked clarity and enough disclosures.
• Investors paid more attention in setting a ceiling for total realised pay that directors could earn and engaged actively on the performance metrics of company remuneration plans.
• A study performed by CGLytics showed that almost a third of the FTSE 100 companies have significant misalignment between pay and performance on a one and three year basis. Please refer to the Appendix for CGLytics’ annual FTSE 100 Pay for Performance Overview. It outlines the total CEO realised compensation and company Total Shareholder Return (TSR) performance for all FTSE 100 constituents against their peers in the index…..

Safety in Police Numbers: Evidence of Police Effectiveness from Federal COPS Grant Applications

Source: Emily K Weisburst, American Law and Economics Review, Advance Articles, Published: November 27, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Understanding the impact of police on crime is critical to designing policies that maximize safety. In this article, I use a novel estimation approach to measure the impact of police hiring, which exploits variation in federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grants, while also controlling for the endogenous decisions of police departments to apply for these grants. Using data from nearly 7,000 U.S. municipalities, I find that a 10% increase in police employment rates reduces violent crime rates by 13% and property crime rates by 7%. The results also provide suggestive evidence that law enforcement leaders are forward-looking.

Infrastructure Investment and the Federal Government

Source: CRS In Focus, November 19, 2018

The condition and performance of infrastructure are generally thought to be important for the nation’s health, welfare, and economy. More contentious are the optimal level of infrastructure investment, the effectiveness of this investment, and the appropriate role of the federal government. The current federal role in infrastructure investment is important but limited in size and scope.