Archive for the ‘labor’ Category

Innovations in Apprenticeship: 5 Case Studies That Illustrate the Promise of Apprenticeship in the United States

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Innovations in Apprenticeship: 5 Case Studies That Illustrate the Promise of Apprenticeship in the United States
Source: Center for American Progress

In 2007, spurred by a projected skills gap in South Carolina’s workforce, state policymakers and the South Carolina Technical College System established an innovative apprenticeship program called Apprenticeship Carolina. Today—after just seven years—Apprenticeship Carolina consists of around 700 employer partners and over 10,400 current and former apprentices. This is just one example of many innovative apprenticeship programs emerging across the United States. From Vermont to Michigan to Washington state, governments, employers, workforce planners, and education stakeholders are making important new investments in this critical workforce training tool.

As detailed in the recent Center for American Progress report, “Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States,” apprenticeship is a workforce-training model that combines on-the-job training with classroom-based instruction and has been proven to benefit employers, employees, and the overall economy. Apprenticeships allow businesses to meet the growing demand for skilled workers, and they lead workers to higher wages and better employment outcomes. Furthermore, they are a smart public investment. A recent study in Washington state found that for every $1 in state investment in apprenticeships, taxpayers received $23 in net benefits, a return that far exceeds that of any other workforce-training program in the state.

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The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Youth Labour Markets

September 26, 2014 Comments off

The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Youth Labour Markets (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

This paper investigates the impact of the GFC on youth unemployment and long term unemployment. In particular, we study whether the GFC had a bigger impact on youths than adults, and whether youth unemployment rates increased due to an increase in youth wages relative to adult wages. To anticipate our results, we find that the youth unemployment rates increased significantly more than that of adults even though youth wages had been falling relative to adult wages.

Treasury Significantly Loosened Executive Pay Limits Resulting in Excessive Pay for Top 25 Employees at GM and Ally (GMAC) When the Companies Were Not Repaying TARP in Full and Taxpayers Were Suffering Billions of Dollars in Losses

September 26, 2014 Comments off

Treasury Significantly Loosened Executive Pay Limits Resulting in Excessive Pay for Top 25 Employees at GM and Ally (GMAC) When the Companies Were Not Repaying TARP in Full and Taxpayers Were Suffering Billions of Dollars in Losses (PDF)
Source: Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP)

Overall, SIGTARP found Treasury significantly loosened executive pay limits, resulting in excessive pay for Top 25 employees at GM and Ally while the companies were not repaying TARP in full and taxpayers were suffering billions of dollars in losses. Treasury also made limited progress implementing recommendations previously made by SIGTARP. These we re designed to promote good Government practices, improve transparency, consistency, and accountability and ultimately protect taxpayers from subsidizing excessive compensation at TARP companies. In 2013, OSM continued awarding excessive pay raises and on ly put back a minimal amount of long – term restricted stock as part of pay packages and eliminated it altogether again in 2014 from pay packages . In June 2013, OSM created for the first time a written policy and procedures. However, OSM’s policy merely re cites TARP legislation and the TARP Standards for Compensation and Corporate Governance; Interim Final Rule (“IFR,” or “Treasury’s Rule”), both in existence prior to the establishment of OSM, leaving OSM as an office of Treasury that operates without forma l written policies developed by that office. SIGTARP found that Treasury still lacks robust policies, procedures, or criteria to ensure that OSM’s guidelines are met.

Temp Work At An All Time High

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Temp Work At An All Time High (PDF)
Source: National Employment Law Project

There are a record high 2.8 million temporary help jobs in today’s economy, making up 2 percent of total employment, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Employment Law Project.

The report, Temped Out: How The Domestic Outsourcing of Blue-Collar Jobs Harms America’s Workers, examines the employment services industry, which includes temporary help agencies (also called staffing agencies), professional employer organizations and employment placement agencies. It finds that as a whole, the industry represents 2.5 percent of all jobs, up from 1.4 percent in 1990. More than 12 million people flowed into and out of a staffing agency in 2013 alone.

America’s staffing industry has also shifted its reach to new sectors like manufacturing and warehousing. The use of third-party staffing agencies creates a layered employment structure that empowers the client-employers at the top and puts downward pressure on staffing agencies in the middle competing for contracts. Many of those agencies in turn keep costs low by cutting corners on pay and safety for workers. In fact, staffing workers’ median hourly wages are 22 percent lower than wages of all private-sector workers.

Overwork and the Slow Convergence in the Gender Gap in Wages

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Overwork and the Slow Convergence in the Gender Gap in Wages
Source: American Sociological Review

Despite rapid changes in women’s educational attainment and continuous labor force experience, convergence in the gender gap in wages slowed in the 1990s and stalled in the 2000s. Using CPS data from 1979 to 2009, we show that convergence in the gender gap in hourly pay over these three decades was attenuated by the increasing prevalence of “overwork” (defined as working 50 or more hours per week) and the rising hourly wage returns to overwork. Because a greater proportion of men engage in overwork, these changes raised men’s wages relative to women’s and exacerbated the gender wage gap by an estimated 10 percent of the total wage gap. This overwork effect was sufficiently large to offset the wage-equalizing effects of the narrowing gender gap in educational attainment and other forms of human capital. The overwork effect on trends in the gender gap in wages was most pronounced in professional and managerial occupations, where long work hours are especially common and the norm of overwork is deeply embedded in organizational practices and occupational cultures. These results illustrate how new ways of organizing work can perpetuate old forms of gender inequality.

Investing in English Skills: The Limited English Proficient Workforce in U.S. Metropolitan Areas

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Investing in English Skills: The Limited English Proficient Workforce in U.S. Metropolitan Areas
Source: Brookings Institution

An analysis of the labor market characteristics of the working-age limited English proficient (LEP) population in the United States and its largest metropolitan areas reveals that:

Nearly one in 10 working-age U.S. adults—19.2 million persons aged 16 to 64—is considered limited English proficient. Two-thirds of this population speaks Spanish, but speakers of Asian and Pacific Island languages are most likely to be LEP. The vast majority of working-age LEP adults are immigrants, and those who entered the United States more recently are more likely to be LEP.

Working-age LEP adults earn 25 to 40 percent less than their English proficient counterparts. While less educated overall than English proficient adults, most LEP adults have a high school diploma, and 15 percent hold a college degree. LEP workers concentrate in low-paying jobs and different industries than other workers.

Most LEP adults reside in large metropolitan areas, but their numbers are growing fastest in smaller metro areas. Eighty-two percent of the working-age LEP population lives in 89 large metropolitan areas, and 10 metro areas account for half of this population. Large immigrant gateways and agricultural/border metro areas in California and Texas have the largest LEP shares of their working-age populations. Smaller metro areas such as Cape Coral, Indianapolis, and Omaha experienced the fastest growth in LEP population between 2000 and 2012. Los Angeles was the only metro area to experience a decline.

Educational attainment and the native languages of LEP adults vary considerably across metro areas. The share who have completed high school ranges from 33 percent in Bakersfield to 85 percent in Jacksonville. Spanish is the most commonly spoken non-English language among LEP adults in 81 of the 89 large metro areas, but the share varies from a low of 5 percent in Honolulu to 99 percent in McAllen.

Most working-age LEP people are in the labor force. A majority across all 89 large metro areas is working or looking for work, and in 19 metro areas, at least 70 percent are employed. Workers proficient in English earn anywhere from 17 percent to 135 percent more than LEP workers depending on their metro location.

Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects

September 24, 2014 Comments off

Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects
Source: Federal Reserve Board

Since 2007, the labor force participation rate has fallen from about 66 percent to about 63 percent. The sources of this decline have been widely debated among academics and policymakers, with some arguing that the participation rate is depressed due to weak labor demand while others argue that the decline was inevitable due to structural forces such as the aging of the population. In this paper, we use a variety of approaches to assess reasons for the decline in participation. Although these approaches yield somewhat different estimates of the extent to which the recent decline in participation reflects cyclical weakness rather than structural factors, our overall assessment is that much – but not all – of the decline in the labor force participation rate since 2007 is structural in nature. As a result, while we see some of the current low level of the participation rate as indicative of labor market slack, we do not expect the participation rate to show a substantial increase from current levels as labor market conditions continue to improve.


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