Will Employers Want Aging Boomers?

Source: Gordon Mermin, Richard W. Johnson, Eric Toder, Urban Institute, July 23, 2008

From the abstract:
Boomers will probably want to work longer than earlier cohorts, but their continued work requires that employers hire and retain them. Employers value older workers for their maturity, experience and work ethic, but worry about out of date skills and high costs. Slower overall labor supply growth will increase demand for older workers and occupations with higher shares of older workers will increase modestly as a share of all jobs. Future jobs will require less physical demands and more cognitive and interpersonal skills, trends that favor educated older workers, but job opportunities for less educated older workers may remain limited.

State Revenue Report

Source: Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, July 2008

State revenues slow yet again, and further weakening appears likely: Mid-year budget cuts may lie ahead.

According to a study released Thursday by The Rockefeller Institute of Government, revenue from lottery games accounted for about 8.9 percent of West Virginia’s internal state government revenues, topped only by Nevada’s 13.4 percent. By comparison, Ohio gambling revenues accounted for 1.9 percent of its own-source revenue. In Kentucky, the number was 1.5 percent.

Federal government trails 23 states on minimum wage

Source: Mary Gable, Economic Policy Institute, Economic Snapshot, July 23, 2008

The second part of a multi-stage hike in the federal minimum wage takes effect July 24, raising the wage from $5.85 to $6.55 per hour. But many states and the District of Columbia are a step ahead of the federal government when it comes to guaranteeing a fair wage. This week’s Economic Snapshot illustrates which states have a higher-than-federal minimum wage.

Greener Grass for Public Employees

Source: Girard Miller, Governing, July 2008

Tough times favor government careers — and changes in plan design.

The economy is cyclical. So are labor markets. And so are the attitudes of workers about economic security and job flexibility. As private companies restructure their workforces, cut their bonus pools, move people around the country, eliminate benefits like retiree health care, and ask their workers to make lifestyle sacrifices, the grass begins to look greener on the public sector side of the fence. As reported in one news story, some workers have thrown in the towel on private-sector work and decided that a government job looks pretty good. That could have far-reaching implications as state and local governments cut back on spending and revisit the sustainability of their employee compensation and benefits plans.

Budgeting on Shifting Sand

Source: Kathy Christie, Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 89 no. 10, June 2008

The headlines are daunting. Plunging home values, skyrocketing fuel costs, declining state revenues, and a multitude of other budget worries add up to nightmares for state budget officials and school business directors. Even the most conservative observers will admit that budget cuts in most districts go beyond trimming fat and are cutting deep into the meat.

Higher Education in Wisconsin

Source: Arden Rice, February 2008

Presented here are a number of sources on the history, organizational structure, and financing of higher education in Wisconsin. Colleges and universities in Wisconsin and throughout the nation are being challenged to meet the educational demands of a growing and diverse college-age population, to adapt their curriculum for graduates to successfully compete in a global economy, and to accomplish these goals with diminishing state financial support. Wisconsin’s educational system over time has changed to meet the educational needs of its citizenry. These sources are intended to provide perspective on the transformation of Wisconsin’s higher education system.
ECS StateNotes and Online Databases
Education Commission of the States, 2008

Cost Containment: A Survey of Current Practices at America’s State Colleges and Universities

Source: American Association of State College and Universities and Sungard Higher Education, 2008

From the press release:
Public colleges and universities rank the identification and implementation of cost containment strategies among their top institutional priorities, according to a study released today by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and SunGard Higher Education. Based on a survey of 114 AASCU member institutions, the study also provides insight into highly replicable “best practices” that could produce effective cost savings and thus increase academic affordability, access and institutional accountability.
See also:
Executive Summary