Category Archives: Statistics

2017 Employee Benefits: Remaining Competitive in a Challenging Talent Marketplace

Source: Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), June 2017

From the summary:
In January and February 2017, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted its annual survey of U.S. employers to gather information on more than 300 employee benefits. The survey asked human resource professionals if their organizations formally offered any of the listed benefits to their employees. This report examines the prevalence of benefits over the past five years to track trends and understand the benefits landscape in the current talent marketplace.

Key Findings:
– Nearly one-third of organizations increased their overall benefits offerings in the last 12 months, and they were most likely to increase health (22%) and wellness (24%) benefits.
– Over the past four years, spousal and domestic partner benefits have increased, but may now be leveling off. These new data show that:
– 95% provide health care coverage for opposite-sex spouses
– 85% provide coverage for same-sex spouses
– Just over one-half provide coverage for domestic partners, regardless of whether they are the same or opposite-sex
– Financial advice benefits are trending upward, going from 28% in 2014 to 49% in 2017.

2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2017

From the summary:
The 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book urges policymakers not to back away from targeted investments that help U.S. children become healthier, more likely to complete high school and better positioned to contribute to the nation’s economy as adults. The Data Book also shows the child poverty rate in 2015 continued to drop, landing at 21%. In addition, children experienced gains in reading proficiency and a significant increase in the number of kids with health insurance. However, the data indicate that unacceptable levels of children living in poverty and in high-poverty neighborhoods persist.

In this year’s report, New Hampshire ranked first among states for overall child well-being, moving up one from 2016. Massachusetts and Vermont filled out the top three. Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi were the three lowest-ranked states.

Unions, Workers, and Wages at the Peak of the American Labor Movement

Source: Brantly Callaway, William J. Collins, National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper No. 23516, June 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
We study a novel dataset compiled from archival records, which includes information on men’s wages, union status, educational attainment, work history, and other background variables for several cities circa 1950. Such data are extremely rare for the early post-war period when U.S. unions were at their peak. After describing patterns of selection into unions, we measure the union wage premium using unconditional quantile methods. The wage premium was larger at the bottom of the income distribution than at the middle or higher, larger for African Americans than for whites, and larger for those with low levels of education. Counterfactuals are consistent with the view that unions substantially narrowed urban wage inequality at mid-century.

Physician Workforce: Locations and Types of Graduate Training Were Largely Unchanged, and Federal Efforts May Not Be Sufficient to Meet Needs

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), GAO-17-411: Published: May 25, 2017

From the summary:
The federal government has reported physician shortages in rural areas; it also projects a deficit of over 20,000 primary care physicians by 2025. Residents in graduate medical education (GME) affect the supply of physicians. Federal GME spending is over $15 billion/year.

We found that, from 2005-15, residents were concentrated in the Northeast and in urban areas. And, while many trained in primary care, primary care residents often subspecialize in other fields. Federal efforts to increase GME in rural areas and primary care were limited. In 2015, we recommended HHS develop a plan for its health care workforce programs—it has yet to do so.

Health, United States, 2016: With Chartbook on Long-term Trends in Health

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics, DHHS Publication No. 2017-1232, May 2017

From the highlights:
This Highlights section includes data from the four major areas included in the report: health status and determinants, utilization of health resources, health care resources, and health care expenditures and payers. As Health, United States enters its 40th year of reporting on the health of the nation, this year’s Highlights section presents trends in health from 1975 or the earliest year possible, given data availability and comparability issues. The Highlights focus on both trends and current data on topics of public health interest and illustrate the breadth of material included in Health, United States. Each highlight includes a reference to the detailed trend table or figure where definitions of terms and additional data can be obtained.
At a Glance
Trend Tables

Employment, Hours, and Earnings Consequences of Job Loss: US Evidence from the Displaced Workers Survey

Source: Henry S. Farber, Journal of Labor Economics 35, no. S1, July 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Data are used from the 1984–2016 Displaced Workers Surveys (DWS) to investigate the incidence and consequences of job loss, 1981–2015. These data show a record high rate of job loss in the Great Recession, with serious employment consequences for job losers, including very low rates of re-employment and difficulty finding full-time employment. The average reduction in weekly earnings for job losers making a full-time–full-time transition are relatively small, with a substantial minority reporting earning more on their new job than on the lost job. Most of the cost of job loss comes from difficulty finding new full-time employment.

Indicators of Mental Health Problems Reported by Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011-12

Source: Jennifer Bronson and Marcus Berzofsky, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 250612, June 2017

From the press release:
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released a study today that revealed 14 percent of state and federal prisoners and 26 percent of jail inmates reported experiences that met the threshold for serious psychological distress (SPD). In comparison, the BJS study found that one in 20 persons (5 percent) in the U.S. general population with similar sex, age, race and Hispanic origin characteristics met the threshold for SPD.

The data on the prison and jail inmates are from the BJS’s 2011-12 National Inmate Survey and the general population data are from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The NSDUH data were standardized to match the sex, age, race and Hispanic origin of the prison and jail populations.

The report examined the prevalence of mental health problems among inmates based on two indicators: self-reported experiences that met the threshold for SPD in the 30 days prior to the survey and having been told at any time in the past by a mental health professional that they had a mental health disorder.

Among the incarcerated population, the study also found that females in state and federal prisons reported experiencing feelings that met the threshold for SPD at higher rates (20 percent) than males (14 percent). In jails, 32 percent of females and 26 percent of males met the threshold for SPD. Similar to the pattern for SPD, two-thirds of female inmates in both prisons (66 percent) and jails (68 percent) had been told by a mental health professional that they had a mental health disorder, compared to around a third (33 percent) of male prisoners and 41 percent of male jail inmates.

Thirty-seven percent of state and federal prisoners had been told by a mental health professional in the past that they had a mental health disorder. The most common disorder was a major depressive disorder (24 percent), followed by a bipolar disorder (18 percent), post-traumatic stress or personality disorder (13 percent) and schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder (9 percent).

Among jail inmates, 44 percent had been told in the past that they had a mental health disorder. Nearly a third had been told that they had major depressive disorder and a quarter had been told they had bipolar disorder.

Among inmates who met the threshold for SPD, more than half (54 percent) of prisoners and a third (35 percent) of jail inmates had received mental health treatment since admission to their current facility. About three-quarters of prisoners (74 percent) and jail inmates (73 percent) who met the threshold for SPD said they had received mental health treatment at some time in their life. Treatment included prescription medication, counseling or therapy, or both…..

Index of State Economic Momentum

Source: State Policy Reports, Volume 35, Issue 12, June 2017
(subscription required)

The Index of State Economic Momentum, developed by Reports founding editor Hal Hovey, ranks states based on their most recent performance in three key measures of economic vitality: personal income growth, employment growth, and population growth. Reports updates the index each quarter. In the second quarter of 2017, Virginia most closely approximated the national average economic performance.

Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2017: First Quarter

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, June 2017

This report provides national summary data on the revenues, expenditures and composition of assets of the largest defined benefit public employee pension systems for state and local governments. This report produces three tables: Tables 1 and 3 include data on cash and security holdings and Table 2 provides data on earnings on investments, contributions and payments.

State and Local Government Workforce: 2017 Trends

Source: Center for State and Local Government Excellence, June 2017

From the summary:
Recruiting and retaining qualified personnel was the top priority for 91 percent of respondents to the 2017 workforce trends survey released today by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE). Respondents also rated staff and leadership development (77 and 76 percent) and succession planning (74 percent) as important workforce issues.

Key findings:
– Key findings from the annual survey, conducted by SLGE, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and National Association of State Personnel Executives were:
– 74 percent reported hiring staff
– 47 percent hired contract or temporary employees
– 38 percent shifted more health care costs to employees
– 24 percent established wellness programs.
– Every year since 2010, a majority of respondents to the annual survey has reported making changes to health insurance benefits. On the other hand, the pace of changes to retirement plans has slowed in recent years. In 2012, 24 percent reported increasing current employee contributions to retirement plans compared with 9 percent increasing current employee contributions in 2016. Positions hardest to fill in 2016 were:
– Police officers (21 percent)
– Information technology (17 percent)
– Engineers (14 percent) and
– Health care (13 percent)
– Skills in greatest demand were in interpersonal relations (65 percent), written communications (53 percent), and technology (51 percent).