Category Archives: Statistics

Racial And Ethnic Differences In The Frequency Of Workplace Injuries And Prevalence Of Work-Related Disability

Source: Seth A. Seabury, Sophie Terp and Leslie I. Boden, Health Affairs, Vol. 36 No. 2, February 2017
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Occupational injuries and illnesses lead to significant health care costs and productivity losses for millions of workers each year. This study used national survey data to test for differences between members of minority groups and non-Hispanic white workers in the risk of workplace injuries and the prevalence of work-related disabilities. Non-Hispanic black workers and foreign-born Hispanic workers worked in jobs with the highest injury risk, on average, even after adjustment for education and sex. These elevated levels of workplace injury risk led to a significant increase in the prevalence of work-related disabilities for non-Hispanic black and foreign-born Hispanic workers. These findings suggest that disparities in economic opportunities expose members of minority groups to increased risk of workplace injury and disability.

States of Change: Demographic Change, Representation Gaps, and Challenges to Democracy, 1980–2060

Source: Rob Griffin, William H. Frey, and Ruy Teixeira, Center for American Progress, February 17, 2017

….Historically, our political institutions have struggled to represent a society that is demographically different than its electorate. The systematic disenfranchisement of women and communities of color, for example, contributed to a public policy process that ignored and underserved large portions of the population. Functionally, they created what we will refer to as representation gaps—the difference between the percentage of voters who belong to a given group and the percentage of the whole population that belong to that same group. While an electorate that resembles the general population is no guarantee of a representative polity, we believe it creates conditions favorable to one.

Representational gaps such as these persist in modern America politics. They are obviously different in size and arise as the result of different processes, but the problems they induce are similar. Given their continued existence, the goal of this report is as follows:
– Document the representation gaps we have observed along age, education, gender, and race lines over the last several decades.
– Predict what those gaps might look like going into the future using the best available demographic projections and turnout data.
– Facilitate a conversation about the representational challenges the United States is likely to face in the coming decades and what solutions might work best to confront them.

Our analysis finds the white overrepresentation and minority underrepresentation has been a defining feature of American politics for decades. In fact, we may currently be at peak levels of both overrepresentation and underrepresentation. We also find that white overrepresentation is likely to decline in the future, as underrepresentation of Latinos and Asians declines significantly due to projected increases in citizenship among these groups. This trend will be especially noticeable in states that currently have the highest white representation gaps, such as Arizona, California, and Texas. By 2060, we expect the states with the highest white representation gaps to be interior states, such as Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming…..

2017 Bridge Report

Source: Eileen Houlihan, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), 2017

From the press release:
– List includes: Brooklyn & Throgs Neck (N.Y.), Yankee Doodle (Conn.), Memorial (Va.-DC) and Greensboro (N.C.) Bridges.
– 1,900 structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
– Average age of a structurally deficient bridge is 67 years old, compared to 39 years for non-deficient bridges.
– 41% of U.S. bridges (250,406) are over 40 years old and have not had major reconstruction work.
– Website features listing of deficient bridges by state and congressional district.

State Fiscal Support for Higher Education: Fiscal Year 2016-2017

Source: Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University and the State Higher Education Executive Officers, February 2017

From the press release:
This year’s Grapevine survey tentatively points to a modest national 3.4% increase in state support for higher education from fiscal year 2015-16 (FY16) to fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17), though an exact figure awaits a budget resolution in Illinois. There, legislators enacted only a partial FY17 budget that funded higher education through December 2016, and an agreement for augmenting those funds through the rest of the fiscal year has not yet been reached. This continues an ongoing budget impasse that left Illinois without a state budget in FY16, when funding for higher education was also limited to partial stopgap monies. In all, Illinois higher education funding remains sharply curtailed. Stopgap monies appropriated in FY16 amounted to only 17% of funding allocated in fiscal year 2014-15 (FY15), the last fiscal year for which Illinois enacted a full state budget. Stopgap monies allocated so far in FY17, although an increase over the partial funding amount appropriated in FY16, amount to only 29% of FY15 funding.

In the remaining 49 states, FY17 fiscal support for higher education represent an overall one-year increase of 2.7% from FY16: 39 states registered increases ranging from 0.2% to 10.5%, and 10 reported decreases ranging from 0.4% to 8.8%. The 2.7% increase for these 49 states is lower than the 4.1% increase registered from FY15 to FY16 in last year’s survey. Slumping energy prices appear to have taken a toll in at least some states, including Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming—states with a high economic stake in the oil and gas sector and that reported the largest declines in higher education funding between FY16 and FY17.

Major Work Stoppages in 2016

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, USDL-17-0180, February 9, 2017

In 2016, there were 15 major work stoppages involving 99,000 workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. (See table 1.) Private industry organizations accounted for over 94
percent of the 1.54 million total days idle for major work stoppages in effect during 2016.

This year marks 70 years of work stoppages data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Over the past four decades (1977-1986 to 2007-2016) major work stoppages declined approximately 90
percent. (See table A and table 1.) The period from 2007 to 2016 was the lowest decade on record, averaging
approximately 14 major work stoppages per year. The lowest annual number of major work stoppages
was 5 in 2009.

In 2016, the information industry had the largest number of workers involved in major work stoppages
with 38,200. Educational services were the next largest industry with 33,600 followed by health care
and social assistance with 12,100 workers. These three industries accounted for over
84 percent of workers idled for major work stoppages.

Union Members – 2016

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, USDL-17-0107, January 26, 2017

The union membership rate–the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions–was 10.7 percent in 2016, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.6 million in 2016, declined by 240,000 from 2015. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union workers.

The data on union membership are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population ages 16 and over. For more information, see the Technical Note in this news release. ….

…. In 2016, 7.1 million employees in the public sector belonged to a union, compared with 7.4 million workers in the private sector. The union membership rate for public-sector workers (34.4 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for private-sector workers (6.4 percent). Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (40.3 percent), which includes employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters. In the private sector, industries with high unionization rates included utilities (21.5 percent), transportation and warehousing (18.4 percent), telecommunications (14.6 percent), construction (13.9 percent), and educational services (12.3 percent). Low unionization rates occurred in finance (1.2 percent), agriculture and related industries (1.3 percent), food services and drinking places (1.6 percent), and professional and technical services (1.6 percent). (See table 3.)….

Fairness Matters: A Chart Book on Who Pays State and Local Taxes

Source: Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), 2017

From the overview:
There is significant room for improvement in state and local tax codes. Income tax laws are filled with top-heavy exemptions and deductions. Sales tax bases are too narrow and need updating. And overall tax collections are often inadequate in the short-run and unsustainable in the long-run. In this light, the growing interest in tax reform among state lawmakers across the country is welcome news.

Too often, however, would-be tax reformers have proposed policy changes that would worsen one of the most undesirable features of state and local tax systems: their lopsided impact on taxpayers at varying income levels. Nationwide, the bottom 20 percent of earners pay 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes each year. Middle-income families pay a slightly lower 9.4 percent average rate. But the top 1 percent of earners pay just 5.4 percent of their income in such taxes. This is the definition of regressive, upside-down tax policy.

State and local tax systems add to the nation’s growing income inequality problem when they capture a greater share of income from low- or moderate-income taxpayers. Further, state tax systems that ask the most of families with the least are not well-suited to generate the revenues needed to fund schools, health care, infrastructure, and other public services that are crucial to building thriving communities. This problem is particularly acute in the long run since regressive tax systems depend more heavily on low-income families that face stagnating incomes while taxing the superrich, whose wealth and incomes continue to grow, at lower rates.

As the information in this chart book helps illustrate, it does not have to be this way. States vary considerably in the fairness of their tax codes, and pursuing policies adopted by states with the least regressive tax systems is a proven strategy for reducing tax inequity.

CBO’s Long-Term Projections of Labor Force Participation

Source: Joshua Montes, Xiaotong Niu, and Julie Topoleski, Congressional Budget Office blog, January 13, 2017

In preparing the economic forecast underlying its forthcoming report on the budget and economic outlook, CBO updated its projections of labor force participation. In this blog post, we explain those updates and compare them with the agency’s previous projections and with those of the Social Security Trustees. The full economic forecast will be described in The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027, which will be released on January 24.

What Are CBO’s Current Projections of Labor Force Participation?
CBO projects that the rate of labor force participation (that is, the number of people who are either working or seeking work as a share of the civilian noninstitutionalized population age 16 or older) will decline from 62.8 percent in 2017 to 61.0 percent in 2027 and to 59.2 percent in 2047—constituting a drop of 3.7 percentage points over 30 years (see the figure below). The projected decline in the participation rate is faster for men than for women. ….