Category Archives: Statistics

Women Workers and Unions

Source: John Schmitt and Nicole Woo, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Issue Brief, December 2013

From the abstract:
This issue brief looks at the most recent national data available to examine the impact that being in or represented by a union has on the wages and benefits of women in the paid workforce. Even after controlling for factors such as age, race, industry, educational attainment and state of residence, the data show a substantial boost in pay and benefits for female workers in unions relative to their non-union counterparts. The effect is particularly strong for women with lower levels of formal education.
See also:
Press release

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts, November 27, 2013

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, an interactive resource from The Pew Charitable Trusts, allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states’ fiscal health.

Drill down into state finances in five core areas:

Economy & People
Long-Term Costs
Fiscal Policy

Decline in State Government Employment Levels off

Source: Jennifer Burnett, Council of State Governments, Knowledge Center, Jennifer Burnett’s blog, December 3, 2013

…The Great Recession had a significant impact on government employment, particularly state and local employment. For more than three years, state and local employment fell. State government employment reached a peak level in the middle of the Great Recession, hitting just above 5.2 million employees in August of 2008. From a peak level of employment in 2008 to its lowest point in July 2013, state governments lost more than 150,000 jobs. Since July, however, state government employment job losses have leveled off, as 35,000 jobs were added between July and October 2013….

Public Fund Survey – Summary of Findings for FY 2012

Source: National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the National Council on Teacher Retirement, December 2013

…The primary source of Survey data is public retirement system annual financial reports. Data also is culled from actuarial valuations, benefits guides, system websites, and input from system representatives. The Survey is updated continuously as new information, particularly annual financial reports, becomes available. This report focuses on fiscal year 2012. Using graphs, this summary describes changes and trends in selected elements of the survey.

Figure A plots the aggregate actuarial funding level among plans in the Survey since its inception in FY 2001. The funding level in FY 12 declined to 73.5 percent, down from 75.8 percent the prior year. The aggregate actuarial value of assets increased to $2.67 trillion, an increase of 0.9 percent. This increase was outpaced by growth in the actuarial value of liabilities, from $3.49 trillion to $3.63 trillion, or 4.1 percent. Liabilities grow primarily as active (working) plan participants accrue retirement benefit service credits.

Most plans have completed, or are nearing completion, of recognition of the sharp investment losses incurred in 2008-09. Those losses are being offset by asset gains since the market decline….

Hardship in America, 2013: Getting By Has Gotten Tougher

Source: Arloc Sherman, Off the Charts blog, November 25, 2013

…Almost 1 in 5 American families struggled to meet one or more of nine basic needs in 2011, the Census Bureau reported earlier this year. These included difficulty meeting essential expenses, not paying rent or mortgage, getting evicted, not paying utilities, having utilities or phone service cut off, not seeing a doctor or dentist when needed, or not always having enough food. Several of these measures of financial difficulty worsened between 2005 and 2011, according to the Census data…. In 2011, 36 percent of the poorest fifth of U.S. households experienced one or more hardships in fulfilling their basic needs in the previous 12 months. (The poorest fifth tends to overlap closely with the population in poverty.) …

Hardship Rates Are High For Children in Poor and Near-Poor Households

Census Data Show Poverty and Inequality Remained High in 2012 and Median Income Was Stagnant, But Fewer Americans Were Uninsured Figures Also Show SNAP’s Strong Antipoverty Impact
Source: By Arloc Sherman, Danilo Trisi, and Matt Broaddus, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 20, 2013

Low Wages and Scant Benefits Leave Many In-Home Workers Unable to Make Ends Meet

Source: Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper #369, November 26, 2013

From the summary:
In-home workers—those whose worksites are private homes—are critical to the U.S. economy. They free the time and attention of other workers by tending to children, cleaning, providing essential support that allows seniors and people with disabilities or illnesses to live at home, and performing other home care tasks. They are professionals but tend to work in the shadows, socially isolated and often without employment contracts, leaving them with little job security and vulnerable to exploitation….

…This paper directly examines in-home occupations and the workers who hold in-home jobs, including how much they earn, the hours they work, whether they receive benefits, and whether they and their own families are able to make ends meet. Key findings include:
* In-home workers are more than 90 percent female, and are disproportionately immigrants. One out of every nine foreign-born female workers with a high school degree or less works in an in-home occupation. In-home occupations are growing rapidly, driven by sharp growth in direct-care work, including personal care aides and home health aides.
* In-home workers receive very low pay, and many have trouble getting the hours they need.
– The median hourly wage for in-home workers is $10.21, compared with $17.55 for workers in other occupations. After accounting for demographic differences between in-home workers and other workers, in-home workers have hourly wages nearly 25 percent lower than those of similar workers in other occupations.
– In-home workers are more likely to work part time than other workers. This is due in many instances to their own preferences, but it is also the case that a larger share of in-home workers than other workers want (and are available for) full-time jobs, but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.
– The median weekly pay for in-home workers who have or want full-time work is $382, compared with $769 for workers in other occupations. After accounting for demographic differences between in-home workers and other workers, in-home workers who have or want full-time work have weekly wages 36.5 percent lower than those of similar workers in other occupations.
* In-home workers rarely receive fringe benefits.
– Only 12.2 percent of in-home workers receive health insurance from their job, compared with 50.6 percent of workers in other occupations. The majority of in-home workers who receive health insurance from their job are agency-based direct-care aides (18.4 percent of whom have employer-provided health insurance). Only 4.9 percent of maids and 6.3 percent of nannies receive employer-provided health insurance.
– Only 7.0 percent of in-home workers are covered by a pension plan at their job, compared with 43.8 percent of workers in other occupations. The majority of in-home workers who are covered by a pension plan at their job are agency-based direct-care aides (10.7 percent of whom are covered by a pension plan). Less than 3 percent of maids and nannies are covered by a pension plan.
* In-home workers have a higher incidence of poverty than workers in other occupations.
– Nearly a quarter—23.4 percent—of in-home workers live below the official poverty line, compared with 6.5 percent of workers in other occupations.
– Twice the official poverty threshold is commonly used by researchers as a measure of what it takes a family to actually make ends meet. More than half—51.4 percent—of in-home workers live below twice the poverty line, compared with 20.8 percent of workers in other occupations. …
See also:
State-by-state demographics of in-home workers

Keep Up With Your Quants: An Innumerant’s Guide to Navigating Big Data

Source: Thomas H. Davenport, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 91 nos. 7 & 8, July–August 2013

We live in an era of big data. Whether you work in financial services, consumer goods, travel and transportation, or industrial products, analytics are becoming a competitive necessity for your organization. But as the banking example shows, having big data—and even people who can manipulate it successfully—is not enough. Companies need general managers who can partner effectively with “quants” to ensure that their work yields better strategic and tactical decisions.

Premiums and Worker Contributions Among Workers Covered by Employer-Sponsored Coverage, 1999-2013

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013

Since 1999 the Employer Health Benefits Survey has documented trends in the employer-sponsored health insurance market. Every year about two thousand private and non-federal public employers with three or more employees have completed the full survey. Among other topics, the survey asks firms for the premium or full per person cost of their health coverage as well as the share that workers are responsible for. The graphing tool below allows users to look at changes in premiums and worker contributions for covered workers at different types of firms, over time.

2012 NIGP Compensation Report

Source: NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement and Public Procurement Research Center (PPRC), 2013

Understanding the developments in compensation structures within any profession is critical when constructing a strategic framework for the field’s future. The significant changes in the nature of governance of the last decade have imposed additional and increasingly more complex demands on public procurement specialists. Whether these increased demands are reflected in the levels of compensation could in large part dictate the pool of talent that local and federal governments will have available in terms of selecting their workforce. The research presented here is part of the popular Public Procurement Compensation Series and investigates, from an organizational perspective, the most recent compensation levels within the profession. The two-fold purpose of this research is to offer a snap shot of the compensation levels across several dimensions and to provide practice-driven and useful compensation benchmarks. …

… A total of 319 American and Canadian agencies have participated in this edition of the survey. Based on their responses three primary trends were identified. First, bonuses have not been a prevalent part of compensation in 2011 or 2012; however, in 2012 agencies were more likely to offer bonuses to their employees. Second, after an accentuated dip from 2008 – 2010, salaries for most positions have been experiencing a recovering trend. Outside a small number of exceptions, reported compensation levels have not reached their previous peaks. Finally, a large proportion of agencies are asking their procurement specialists to work overtime without additional pay…

The Economic Status of Women of Color: a Snapshot

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau, Fact Sheet, December 2013

Facts cannot completely describe the challenges faced by working women. But facts are important in painting a picture of the lives of working women and informing policies and actions needed. These fact sheets provide a picture of Black, Hispanic, and Asian working women in the United States in the following areas:

• women’s contribution to family income;
• unemployment and the effects of the recession;
• families in poverty;
• educational attainment and likelihood of unemployment;
• the impact of educational attainment on women’s pay;
• occupational distribution and impact on pay;
• the wage gap between men and women;
• the real cost of the wage gap; and
• the impact of the gender wage gap on the retirement income of older women. …