Category Archives: Workforce

Hard Work? Patterns in Physically Demanding Labor Among Older Workers

Source: Hye Jin Rho, Center for Economic and Policy Research, August 2010

From the summary:
Employment in physically demanding jobs or in jobs with difficult working conditions is a major cause of early labor-market exit among older workers. Raising the retirement age is particularly concerning for near-retirement age workers with such jobs. Despite the fact that the retirement age increase is supposed to encourage workers to work longer, many workers would be physically unable to extend work lives in their jobs, and they would most likely be left with no choice but to receive reduced benefits.

An increase in the retirement age or other cuts in Social Security benefits are also likely to put a greater burden on demographic groups that have higher proportions of workers in difficult jobs. In particular, physically demanding jobs and jobs that had difficult working conditions were more likely to be held by men, Latinos, the least educated (less than a high school diploma), immigrants, and the lowest wage earners.

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics – 2009

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USDL-10-1172, August 25, 2010

The proportion of the population employed in 2009-the employment-population ratio-was 19.2 percent among those with a disability, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The employment-population ratio for persons without a disability was 64.5 percent. The unemployment rate of persons with a disability was 14.5 percent, higher than the rate for those with no disability, which was 9.0 percent.

This is the first news release focusing on the employment status of persons with a disability. The information in this release was obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides statistics on employment and unemployment in the United States. Beginning in June 2008, questions were added to the CPS that were designed to identify persons with a disability in the civilian non-institutional population age 16 and over, and 2009 is the first calendar year for which annual averages are available.

State and Local Government Employment are Down Since the Start of the Recession

Source: Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, Data Alert, August 10, 2010

Friday’s July employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that total employment in the nation declined by 131,000 jobs. The decline was driven by a combination of very weak growth in the private sector (+71,000 jobs), a large decline in federal government employment (-154,000) primarily reflecting the departure of 143,000 temporary Census 2010 workers, and a decline of 48,000 in state and local government jobs.

Government Jobs Fall in Most States

Source: Donald J. Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, July 23, 2010

Thirty-one states have cut state and local government employment over the past year, while 18 others have added public-sector jobs, according to June data. Local government employment, dominated by education jobs, accounts for the largest number of lost positions. Drops in the public sector remain smaller than in private industry, but are likely to deepen in the months ahead.
See also:
2009 report: “State/Local Employment Up”

Addressing the Talent Challenge in Local Government: The Silicon Valley Two-County Next Generation Task Force

Source: Bob Bell and Donna Vaillancourt, California Public Employee Relations, no. 199, May 2010
(subscription required)

People in all sectors of the workforce are entering the demographic known as “aging,” and the current wave of retirements is expected to continue. With a higher percentage of older workers, the public sector is particularly vulnerable to this exodus. At the same time, competition for a new pool of qualified and talented workers is going to get fierce as job growth improves — the emerging global economy has moved the talent competition to an international stage1 and, as individuals exit the labor force, there are fewer workers to replace them.

In economically lean times and in the face of budget deficits, how do governmental agencies attract and develop top talent to their workforces? How do they collaboratively develop and encourage leaders?

To confront these issues in the Silicon Valley, public administrators from San Mateo and Santa Clara counties formed the Two-County Next Generation Task Force, under the direction of Dr. Frank Benest, former city manager of Palo Alto and adviser for the International City/County Management Association. The task force, comprised of city managers, human resource professionals, executives from workforce planning agencies, and college administrators, has taken a two-pronged approach to its mission: to attract individuals to local government work and to accelerate the development of emerging leaders in local agencies.

QCEW State and County Map Application

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has developed an interactive state and county map application. The application displays geographic economic data through maps, charts, and tables, allowing users to explore employment and wage data of private industry at the National, State, and county level. Throughout this application, URLs are specific to the data displayed, so links can be bookmarked, reused, and shared. The application includes maps, charts, tables, and a link to standard BLS data tables and graphs.

International Comparisons of Annual Labor Force Statistics Adjusted to U.S. Concepts, 10 Countries, 1970-2009

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010

This report presents selected annual labor force statistics for 1970-2009 for the United States and nine developed foreign countries: Canada, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Indicators cover unemployment, employment, labor force, and working-age population, with foreign-country data adjusted as closely as possible to U.S. concepts. The HMTL version of this report is available here. Note that monthly updates to seasonally adjusted monthly and quarterly unemployment rates.

Mentoring Millennials

Source: Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 88 no. 5, May 2010
(subscription required)

The makeup of the global workforce is undergoing a seismic shift: In four years Millennials–the people born between 1977 and 1997–will account for nearly half the employees in the world. In some companies, they already constitute a majority.

That shift may sound daunting to the managers charged with coaching these young workers, who have a reputation for being attention sponges. However, our research into the varying expectations and needs of employees across four generations has given us a more nuanced view of Millennials and uncovered several resource efficient ways to mentor them.