Consequences of Routine Work-Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Well-Being

Source: Daniel Schneider, Kristen Harknett, American Sociological Review, OnlineFirst, Published February 1, 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Research on precarious work and its consequences overwhelmingly focuses on the economic dimension of precarity, epitomized by low wages. But the rise in precarious work also involves a major shift in its temporal dimension, such that many workers now experience routine instability in their work schedules. This temporal instability represents a fundamental and under-appreciated manifestation of the risk shift from firms to workers. A lack of suitable existing data, however, has precluded investigation of how precarious scheduling practices affect workers’ health and well-being. We use an innovative approach to collect survey data from a large and strategically selected segment of the U.S. workforce: hourly workers in the service sector. These data reveal that exposure to routine instability in work schedules is associated with psychological distress, poor sleep quality, and unhappiness. Low wages are also associated with these outcomes, but unstable and unpredictable schedules are much more strongly associated. Precarious schedules affect worker well-being in part through the mediating influence of household economic insecurity, yet a much larger proportion of the association is driven by work-life conflict. The temporal dimension of work is central to the experience of precarity and an important social determinant of well-being.

How Colleges Spend Money

Source: American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 2019

Two out of three college students now graduate with an average of over $28,000 in student debt, and the price of tuition continues to rise at an unsustainable rate, faster even than health care. So how do colleges spend that money?

Built specifically for college trustees, policymakers, and other higher education decision-makers, this site is designed to equip the people who oversee colleges and universities with the tools to perform their own analysis of higher education spending trends, and create benchmarks in comparison with other institutions.

Occupational medicine clinical practice data reveal increased injury rates among Hispanic workers

Source: Scott M. Riester, Karyn L. Leniek, Ashley D. Niece, Andre Montoya‐Barthelemy, William Wilson, Jonathan Sellman, Paul J. Anderson, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, First published: January 30, 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background:
Minnesota has an ethnically diverse labor force, with the largest number of refugees per capita in the United States. In recent years, Minnesota has been and continues to be a major site for immigrant and refugee resettlement in the United States, with a large population of both immigrant and native born Hmong, Hispanic, and East Africans. This study seeks to evaluate the injury risk among the evolving minority workforce in the Minnesota Twin Cities region.

Methods:
A retrospective cohort study identifying work‐related injuries following pre‐employment examinations was performed using electronic health records from a large multi‐clinic occupational medicine practice. Preplacement examinations and subsequent work‐related injuries were pulled from the electronic health record using representative ICD‐10 codes for surveillance examinations and injuries. This study included patient records collected over a 2‐year period from January 1, 2015, through December, 2016. The patients in this cohort worked in a wide‐array of occupations including production, assembly, construction, law enforcement, among others.

Results:
Hispanic minority workers were twice as likely to be injured at work compared with White workers. Hispanics were 2.89 times more likely to develop back injuries compared with non‐Hispanic workers, and 1.86 times more likely to develop upper extremity injuries involving the hand, wrist, or elbow.

Conclusion:
Clinical practice data shows that Hispanic workers are at increased risk for work‐related injuries in Minnesota. They were especially susceptible to back and upper extremity injuries. Lower injury rates in non‐Hispanic minority workers, may be the result of injury underreporting and require further investigation.

Who Are the Getters? The Federal Workforce and Low Income States Get the Most

Source: Laura Schultz, Rockefeller Institute of Government, February 1, 2019

In the recent report, Giving or Getting? New York’s Balance of Payments with the Federal Government, Rockefeller Institute evaluated how all fifty states compared in the tax revenue they sent to the federal government (receipts) and the levels of spending they received from the federal government (expenditures). Forty states had a positive balance of payments; they received more money from Washington than they sent. In our last blog post we looked at “the givers.” These states have high income levels and, as a result, pay more in payroll taxes than other states. These high tax burdens were not offset by high levels of federal spending, leading to negative balances of payments. In this post we take a closer look at the winners, the states with high balances of payments. Our analysis finds there are two categories of getters: states with large federal workforces and states with low incomes.
Table 1 shows the ten states with the highest per capita balance of payments. The ratio of expenditures to receipts tells us how much each state receives in federal spending for each dollar it sends in taxes. For every $1 Virginians pay in taxes, the residents receive twice as much in federal spending.

State and local government – Wisconsin: Foxconn’s missed job creation target is credit negative for Mount Pleasant, Racine County and Wisconsin

Source: Katie Anthony, Natalie Claes, Joshua Grundleger, Moody’s, Sector Comment, January 31, 2019
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On 17 January, electronics manufacturer Foxconn announced it had missed the first job creation target related to the investment and incentive agreement it entered last year with the state of Wisconsin (Aa1 stable). Despite ongoing investment in facilities and properties throughout the state, Foxconn created only 178 of the minimum 260 jobs needed to receive the first round of state tax credits, about $9.5 million. The missed target highlights the project’s risks to Racine County (Aa2 negative) and the village of Mount Pleasant (Aa3 negative), given their exposure to upfront expenditures and bonding that support Foxconn’s project. The state, while considerably protected given the contingent nature of its support, is also exposed to project failure…..

Local government and higher education – US: Overview of state aid intercept programs

Source: Susanne Siebel, Dan Seymour, Orlie Prince, Leonard Jones, Alexandra S. Parker, Moody’s, Sector Profile, February 1, 2019
(subscription required)

State aid intercept programs require a state to divert funding, originally intended for operations, to bondholders for debt service when a local government or higher education institution is unable to make the payment. With that bondholder protection, programs help entities access the capital markets. While all programs share the same goal, they vary widely in structure, timing and state commitment….

FAQ: The impact of the government shutdown and of another potential impasse

Source: Rebecca Karnovitz, Atsi Sheth, Madhavi Bokil, William Foster, Nicholas Samuels, Bruce Herskovics, Anne Van Praagh, Moody’s, Sector In-Depth, January 28, 2019
(subscription required)

On January 25, US President Donald Trump signed a short-term spending bill to reopen the federal government of the United States (Aaa stable) until Feb. 15 while negotiations continue on his proposal to build a wall along the country’s southern border. If the impasse is not resolved in the next three weeks, the president said the government will either shut down again or he will use emergency powers under the US Constitution to move forward with his border security proposal. In this report, we answer some of the key questions about the credit effects of the 35-day partial government shutdown – the longest such closure in US history – and the potential ramifications of another shutdown…..

Everything You Need to Know About General Strikes

Source: Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, No Class, January 24, 2019

The word strike seems to be on everyone’s lips these days. Workers across the world have been striking to protest poor working conditions, to speak out against sexual harassment, and to jumpstart stalled union negotiations. And as we just saw with the Los Angeles teachers’ successful large-scale strike, which spanned six school days, strikers have been winning. Despite the shot of energy that organized strikes have injected into the labor movement, many people aren’t content with run-of-the-mill work stoppages, or even with more militant wildcat strikes…..

….. So what does it all mean? How is a general strike different from a planned, industry-specific work stoppage; why are people interested in the idea now; and what would one look like in 2019? …..

The Greensboro Sit-In Protests, Explained

Source: Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue OG History, February 1, 2019

The first day of Black History Month is also the anniversary of a historic civil rights protest and the birth of a student-led movement. February 1 marks the 59th anniversary of the start of the Greensboro sit-ins, a protest started in 1960 by four college students against racial segregation in Greensboro, North Carolina. Their actions quickly spurred a nationwide movement that sparked a fresh wave of the civil rights era….

Prisons Across The U.S. Are Quietly Building Databases Of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints

Source: George Joseph, Debbie Nathan, The Intercept, January 30, 2019

….Dukes, who was released in October, says he was never told about what that procedure was meant to do. But contracting documents for New York’s new prison phone system, obtained by The Appeal in partnership with The Intercept, and follow-up interviews with prison authorities, indicate that Dukes was right to be suspicious: His audio sample was being “enrolled” into a new voice surveillance system.

In New York and other states across the country, authorities are acquiring technology to extract and digitize the voices of incarcerated people into unique biometric signatures, known as voice prints. Prison authorities have quietly enrolled hundreds of thousands of incarcerated people’s voice prints into large-scale biometric databases. Computer algorithms then draw on these databases to identify the voices taking part in a call and to search for other calls in which the voices of interest are detected. Some programs, like New York’s, even analyze the voices of call recipients outside prisons to track which outsiders speak to multiple prisoners regularly.

Corrections officials representing the states of Texas, Florida, and Arkansas, along with Arizona’s Yavapai and Pinal counties; Alachua County, Florida; and Travis County, Texas, also confirmed that they are actively using voice recognition technology today. And a review of contracting documents identified other jurisdictions that have acquired similar voice-print capture capabilities: Connecticut and Georgia state corrections officials have signed contracts for the technology (Connecticut did not respond to repeated interview requests; Georgia declined to answer questions on the matter)…..