States Perform provides users with access to interactive, customizable and up-to-date comparative performance measurement data for 50 states in six key areas: fiscal and economic, public safety and justice, energy and environment, transportation, health and human services, and education. Compare performance across a few or all states, profile one state, view trends over time, and customize your results with graphs and maps.
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Publishing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC’s Congressional Research Service.
The scope of data collections and system functionality have continued to expand since THOMAS was launched in January 1995, when the 104th Congress convened. THOMAS was produced after Congressional leadership directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public.
Currently, 24 states have RTW laws. Of these, 12 states passed RTW laws prior to 1950 and another six passed them prior to 1960. The two most recent states to adopt RTW laws are Indiana and Michigan, both of which enacted legislation in 2012. Several other state legislatures are debating RTW laws.
Recent legislative proposals, with substantial numbers of cosponsors, would expand RTW policies nationwide. Advocates of national RTW laws claim that they would enhance personal freedom and employer flexibility. Opponents argue that such laws would weaken workers’ abilities to collectively bargain for more favorable compensation and working conditions. Proposals aiming to expand RTW policies typically strike the provisions of the NLRA that permit union security agreements.
National RTW proposals are often discussed in the context of the economic performance of states that have adopted them. However, research that compares outcomes in RTW and union security states is inconclusive. The recent data trends between RTW and union security states are relatively distinct, but, since it is difficult to determine the effect of a single variable on broader economic outcomes, the influence of RTW laws in these trends (if any) is unclear.
• Unionization rates in RTW states are less than half of what they are in union security states. It is ambiguous what portion of this difference is attributable to RTW laws, what portion is due to diverse preferences among states’ populations regarding unionization, and what portion is due to other factors.
• In the past decade, aggregate employment in RTW states has increased modestly while employment in union security states has declined. It is unclear if this growth is attributable to RTW, other pro-business policies (which tend to be concentrated in RTW states), or other factors.
• Wages are lower in RTW states than union security states. Historical research has suggested that RTW laws have little influence on these differences. More contemporary scholarship has come to diverse conclusions, depending on the researchers’ methodology….
Difficulties associated with rigorously studying the relationships between RTW laws and various outcomes are likely to continue to make it difficult to generate definitive findings about these relationships. As such, the ongoing debate on RTW may be driven by factors other than rigorous empirical evidence.
After rising sharply through 2007, the collapse of the stock market and the sudden collapse in home prices took and immense toll on the assets of the middle class. This report summarizes what happened and why.
The most telling finding is that median wealth plummeted over the years 2007 to 2010, and by 2010 was at its lowest level since 1969. moreover, inequality of net worth, after almost two decades of little movement, rose sharply between 2007 and 2010. Inequalities rose by income class, by race/ethnicity, and across age groups.
The middle class benefited from very rapid asset appreciation during the 2001-2007 period (6.0 percent per year). But the steep drop in asset prices during the recession, particularly housing, hit the middle class harder than more affluent Americans and was the main cause of increasing wealth inequality after 2007. Similar trends are found for racial and age inequalities. Blacks and Hispanics increased their net worth relative to whites during 2001-2007 as did young adults in relation to older Americans, mainly because so much of their assets were tied up in home ownership. But these gains were wiped out durung the recession.
– Median wealth plummeted over the years 2007-2010.
– Middle class debt exploded from 1983 to 2007, already creating a highly fragile middle class. The situation worsened during the Great Recession. As a result inequality of net worth, after almost two decades of little movement, rose sharply between 2007 and 2010.
– The racial and ethnic disparity in wealth widened considerably in the years between 2007 and 2010. Blacks and especially Hispanics lost in net worth and equity in their homes.
– Young households (under age 45) also were pummeled by the Great Recession, as their wealth declined sharply in both absolute terms and in comparison with other households.
As more and more purchases are made over the Internet and states experience more and more fiscal distress, states are looking for new ways to collect taxes for sales generated online. There is a common misperception that states cannot tax Internet sales; however, the reality is that they may impose sales and use taxes on such transactions, even when the retailer is outside of the state. However, if the seller does not have a constitutionally sufficient connection (“nexus”) to the state, then the seller is under no enforceable obligation to collect a use tax. The purchaser, on the other hand, is still generally responsible for paying the use tax, but the rate of compliance is low.
Recent laws, often called “Amazon laws” in reference to the large Internet retailer, represent fresh attempts by the states to capture taxes on Internet sales. States enacting these laws have used two basic approaches. The first is to impose the responsibility for collecting use tax on those retailers who compensate state residents for placing links to the retailer’s website on the state residents’ websites (i.e., online referrals or “click-throughs”). The other is to require remote sellers to provide information about sales and taxes to the state and/or the in-state customers. New York was the first state to enact click-through legislation. Colorado was the first to pass a notification law. These laws have received significant publicity, in part due to questions about whether they impermissibly impose duties on remote sellers who do not have a sufficient nexus to the state….
..Until Congress decides otherwise, physical presence remains the standard used to determine the constitutionality of states’ “Amazon laws.” Both the Colorado and New York laws have been challenged on constitutional grounds. Colorado’s notification law appears to be the more constitutionally problematic approach—it was recently struck down by a federal district court. So far, New York click-through law has been upheld….
From the abstract:
New “governance” reforms entailing shifts toward privatization have permeated the public sector over the last decade, possibly affecting workplace-based attainments. We examine the consequences of this reform for African American men, who during the civil rights era reached relative parity with whites. We analyze race-based inequities on one socioeconomic outcome-downward occupational mobility-among professionals, managers and executives. Results from a Panel Study of Income Dynamics sample indicate that the “new government business model,” characterized by increased employer discretion has disproportionately disadvantaged African Americans. Narrower racial gaps in the incidence, determinants and timing of downward mobility found in the public sector, relative to the private sector, during the pre-reform period (1985-90) eroded during the reform period (2002-07) because of widening racial gaps in the public sector.
From the abstract:
For many decades, employee representation and voice in the employment relationship were manifested mainly through unionism and collective bargaining, but that is no longer the case. Today most employees do not belong to unions, but they may be represented and exercise voice through a variety of other mechanisms and arrangements. This paper provides an overview of a special issue of Industrial Relations containing eight papers that analyze various types of non-union employee representation. These papers feature a wide variety of research designs as well as industry, company, and employee settings. Empirically, they draw upon data from the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia. As a set, these papers provide the most comprehensive knowledge to date of employee representation in non-union firms, and also offer recommendations for future research to further enhance such knowledge.
From the summary:
– The most recent U.S. Census Bureau data show that the overall median tenure of workers–the midpoint of wage and salary workers’ length of employment in their current jobs–was slightly higher in 2012, at 5.4 years, compared with 5.0 years in 1983.
– However, the median tenure for male wage and salary workers was lower in 2012 at 5.5 years, compared with 5.9 years in 1983. In contrast, the median tenure for female wage and salary workers increased from 4.2 years in 1983 to 5.4 years in 2012. Consequently, the increase in the median tenure of female workers more than offsets the decline in the median tenure of male workers, leaving the overall level slightly higher.
– The data on employee tenure–the amount of time an individual has been with his or her current employer–show that career jobs never existed for most workers and have continued not to exist for most workers. These tenure results indicate that, historically, most workers have repeatedly changed jobs during their working careers, and all evidence suggests that they will continue to do so in the future.
From the summary:
– Enactment of PPACA has raised questions about whether employers will continue to offer health coverage to their workers in the future. Yet the importance of benefits as a criterion in choosing a job remains high, and health insurance in particular continues to be, by far, the most important employee benefit to workers.
– The 2012 EBRI/MGA Health Confidence Survey (HCS) finds most Americans are satisfied with the health benefits they have now and prefer not to change the mix of benefits and wages. Three-quarters (73 percent) report that they are satisfied with the health benefits they currently receive while 15 percent say they would trade wages to get more health benefits, and 9 percent say they would surrender health benefits for higher wages.
– Choice of health plans is important to workers, and they would like more choices, but most workers expressed confidence that their employers or unions have selected the best available health plan. Moreover, they are not as confident in their ability to choose the best available plan if their employers or unions did, in fact, stop offering coverage.
– If current tax preferences were to change, and employment-based coverage became taxable, 39 percent of individuals say they would continue with their current level of coverage, compared with 29 percent who indicated that preference in 2011.