College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2013 High School Graduates
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
In October 2013, 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in October 2013 were over twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work–74.2 percent compared with 34.1 percent.
Executive Paywatch: High Paid CEOs and the Low-Wage Economy
In 2013 the CEO to worker pay ratio was 331:1 and the CEO to minimum wage worker pay ratio was 774:1. America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, a country where hard work and playing by the rules would provide working families a middle-class standard of living. But in recent decades, corporate CEOs have been taking a greater share of the economic pie while wages have stagnated and unemployment remains high.
High-paid CEOs of low-wage employers are fueling this growing economic inequality. In 2013, CEOs of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index companies received, on average, $11.7 million in total compensation, according to the AFL-CIO’s analysis of available data from 350 companies.
Today’s ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is simply unconscionable. While CEO pay remains in the stratosphere, production and nonsupervisory workers took home only $35,239 on average in 2013, and a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage earned only $15,080.
Even as companies argue that they can’t afford to raise wages, the nation’s largest companies are earning higher profits per employee than they did five years ago. In 2013, the S&P 500 Index companies earned $41,249 in profits per employee, a 38% increase.
Job Tasks, Computer Use, and the Decreasing Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in the UK (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor
Using data from the UK Skills Surveys, we show that the part-time pay penalty for female workers within low- and medium-skilled occupations decreased significantly over the period 1997-2006. The convergence in computer use between part-time and full-time workers within these occupations explains a large share of the decrease in the part-time pay penalty. However, the lower part-time pay penalty is also related to lower wage returns to reading and writing which are performed more intensively by full-time workers. Conversely, the increasing returns to influencing has increased the part-time pay penalty despite the convergence in the influencing task input between part-time and full-time workers. The relative changes in the input and prices of computer use and job tasks together explain more than 50 percent of the decrease in the part-time pay penalty.
Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)
The Former Presidents Act (FPA; 3 U.S.C. §102 note) charges the General Services Administration (GSA) with providing former Presidents a pension, support staff, office support, travel funds, and mailing privileges. The FPA was enacted to “maintain the dignity” of the Office of the President. The act provides the former President—and his or her spouse—certain benefits to help him respond to post-presidency mail and speaking requests, among other informal public duties often required of a former President. Prior to enactment of the FPA in 1958, former Presidents leaving office received no pension or other federal assistance.
Former Presidents currently receive a pension that is equal to pay for Cabinet Secretaries (Executive Level I), which was $199,700 in calendar year 2013. Executive Level I pay is set at $201,700 for calendar year 2014. In addition to benefits provided pursuant to the FPA, former Presidents are also provided Secret Service protection and financial “transition” benefits to assist their transition to post-presidential life. Pursuant to the FPA, former Presidents are eligible for benefits unless they hold “an appointive or elective office or position in or under the Federal Government or the government of the District of Columbia to which is attached a rate of pay other than a nominal rate.”
64,613 Software Engineers Join Class Action Hiring Conspiracy Lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe
The biggest legal story out of Silicon Valley these days involves more than 64,000 software engineers collectively suing several high-tech giants over their collusion to keep workers’ salaries down.
The class-action lawsuit, with 64,613 plaintiffs, targets Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe for secretly agreeing not to poach each other’s engineers and to share salary information in an effort to control salaries.
The collusion reportedly began in 2005, when Apple’s Steve Jobs approached Google’s top executive, Eric Schmidt, about working together to hold down salaries.
After getting Google on board, Jobs “strong-armed” Adobe into joining the secret pact, according to court documents. The documents show that Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen was reluctant to go along until Jobs threatened to poach Adobe engineers.
I Used to Work at Goldman Sachs! How Firms Benefit From Organizational Status in the Market for Human Capital
I Used to Work at Goldman Sachs! How Firms Benefit From Organizational Status in the Market for Human Capital (PDF)
Source: Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming)
How does employer status benefit firms in the market for general human capital? On the one hand, high status employers are better able to attract workers, who value the signal of ability that employment at those firms provides. On the other hand, that same signal can help workers bid up wages and capture the value of employers’ status. Exploring this tension, we argue that high status firms are able to hire higher ability workers than other firms, and do not need to pay them the full value of their ability early in the career, but must raise wages more rapidly than other firms as those workers accrue experience. We test our arguments using unique survey data on careers in investment banking.
See: The Hiring Advantage of High-status Firms (Knowledge@Wharton)
Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005–2013; and Labor-force Participation Rates of the Population Ages 55 and Older, 2013
Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005–2013; and Labor-force Participation Rates of the Population Ages 55 and Older, 2013 (PDF)
Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute
Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005–2013
- The population of adults within consumer-driven (CDHPs), high-deductible (HDHP) and traditional health plans was split about 50–50 between men and women in 2013.
- The CDHP population was more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to be in households with $150,000 or more in income in every year except 2006, 2009 and 2010. They were also more likely to be in households with $100,000–$149,999 in income in most years.
- CDHP enrollees were roughly twice as likely as individuals with traditional coverage to have college or post-graduate educations in nearly all years of the survey.
- CDHP enrollees have consistently reported better health status than traditional-plan enrollees, exhibiting better health behavior than traditional-plan enrollees with respect to smoking and (except for 2010 and 2011), exercise, and sometimes obesity rates.
Labor-force Participation Rates of the Population Ages 55 and Older, 2013
- The labor-force participation rate for those ages 55 and older rose throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, when it began to level off but with a small increase following the 2007–2008 economic downturn.
- For those ages 55–64, the upward trend was driven almost exclusively by the increased labor-force participation of women, whereas the male participation rate was flat to declining. However, among those ages 65 or older, the rate increased for both males and females over that period.
- This upward trend in labor-force participation by older workers is likely related to workers’ current need for continued access to employment-based health insurance and for more years of earnings to accumulate savings in defined contribution (401(k)-type) plans and/or to pay down debt. Many Americans also want to work longer, especially those with more education for whom more meaningful jobs are available that can be performed into older ages.
- Younger workers’ labor-force participation rates increased when that of older workers declined or remained low during the late 1970s to the early 1990s. But as younger workers’ rates began to decline in the late 1990s, those for older workers continuously increased. Consequently, it appears either that older workers filled the void left by younger workers’ lower participation, or that higher older-worker participation limited the opportunities for younger workers or discouraged them from participating in the labor force.
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Department of Health and Human Services: Solicitations of Support for Enroll America. GAO-14-305R, March 21.
2. Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update. GAO-14-334R, March 20.
3. Internal Revenue Service: Absorbing Budget Cuts Has Resulted in Significant Staffing Declines and Uneven Performance. GAO-14-534R, April 21.
Employment Services and Supports Available to Veterans with Disabilities Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Other Federal Agencies
Employment Services and Supports Available to Veterans with Disabilities Through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Other Federal Agencies (PDF)
Source: Mathematica Center for Studying Disability Policy
The number of military personnel incurring disability in current military conflicts is the highest in over three decades. Since 2001, over 1.6 million service members, Reservists, and National Guard have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern nations. As noted by Lew et al. (2007), advances in medical innovations and body armor have enabled 90 percent of soldiers to survive injuries that would have likely been fatal in previous wars, but many service personnel survive with serious physical and psychological injuries.
The Federal government has recently responded to the growing number of service members with disabilities in several ways. President Obama has signed executive orders to improve federal government hiring of veterans and to require federal agencies to contract with veteran owned agencies. The 2011 American Jobs Act added tax credits to employers hiring veterans with service co nnected disabilities. That same year, the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act was passed and signed into law . The VOW Act provides additional tax credit and training funds for unemployed veterans to prepare them for employment.
Many federal agencies will be involved in the implementation of these initiatives. Employment services and supports for veterans with disabilities is primarily provided by the VA, but the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Labor (DoL) also operate program s specifically targeting veterans with disabilities. Veterans also access other employment service programs that target all individuals with disabilities or persons in need specialized support to obtain employment.
T his report provides an overview of Federally – funded employment services and supports that can be accessed by veterans with disabilities, including those designed to meet the needs of the disabled veteran population specifically, the veteran population in general, and the disability population in general. The purpose is to present a comprehensive cataloging and review of all employment resources of which veterans with disabilities could access in pursuit of wage and self – employment.
The Financial Security Scorecard: A State-by-State Analysis of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees
The Financial Security Scorecard: A State-by-State Analysis of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees (PDF)
Source: National Institute on Retirement Security
From press release:
A new analysis finds that nearly every state falls short in key areas that measure retirement readiness. The Financial Security Scorecard: A State-by-State Analysis of Economic Pressures Facing Future Retirees gauges the relative performance of the fifty states and the District of Columbia in three key areas: anticipated retirement income; major retirement costs like housing and healthcare; and labor market conditions for older workers.
The study is designed to serve as a tool for policymakers to help identify potential areas of focus for state-based policy interventions to improve Americans’ retirement prospects.
Worksharing and Long-Term Unemployment (PDF)
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The Great Recession was especially deep and especially long. The sustained departure of output from its trend path was accompanied by a large drop in employment, which stayed low relative to trend for an extended period as well. As this occurred, the percentage of workers who were long-term unemployed increased sharply. Even as the U.S. economy recovers, the painful legacy of the Great Recession lives on as these long-term unemployed workers continue to struggle to reconnect to society.
In light of this, policymakers and economists must ask whether smart policy could have mitigated large employment losses and the high incidence of long-term unemployment. We believe the answer is yes, and that worksharing is such a policy. Under worksharing, a firm can reduce the hours of its workforce in lieu of a layoff, and workers whose hours have been reduced are eligible for a prorated unemployment insurance (UI) benefit. In this way, a firm can weather a temporary lull in demand by reducing its payroll costs without laying off large number of workers.
In this paper we make three points. First, the impact of long-term unemployment on the lives of those affected is so significantly negative that addressing the issue should be a top priority for policymakers. Second, extended unemployment insurance benefits are an insufficient way to deal with unemployment, and additional policies are needed. Finally, an alternative reform of unemployment insurance could reduce the risk that the next recession might lead to another surge in long-term unemployment, help keep some of the millions of workers who are laid off every year in their jobs, and in so doing help avoid the problem of “hysteresis” associated with long-term unemployment.
Unemployment among Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Increased but Remained Below the National Average
Unemployment among Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Increased but Remained Below the National Average
Source: National Science Foundation
In 2010, an estimated 805,500 individuals in the United States held research doctoral degrees in science, engineering, and health (SEH) fields, an increase of 6.2% from 2008. Of these individuals, 709,700 were in the labor force, which includes those employed full time or part time and those actively seeking work (i.e., unemployed). The unemployment rate for SEH doctorate recipients was 2.4% in October 2010, up from 1.7% in October 2008 and similar to the rate in October 2003 (table 1). Moreover, the 2010 unemployment rate of the SEH doctoral labor force was about one-third of the October 2010 unemployment rate for the general population aged 25 years or older (8.2%).
Perspectives on Health Care Spending Growth
Source: Brookings Institution
The evolution of health care spending has important implications for many aspects of our economy. As highlighted by this conference, the trajectory of health spending growth is a central determinant of the outlook for federal and state budgets and for workers’ take-home pay. Health spending also affects other key economic variables, including measured productivity and prices. Further, the coming demographic change has important implications for both the level and financing of health spending. For these reasons, the question of what drives health spending growth is a subject that has received much attention from researchers and policymakers, although, as I hope to show in this background paper, much remains to be learned.
DOL A to Z — Learn About the Labor Department
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Learn about the Labor Department, break through the jargon and the acronyms and explore our work. To learn more about words and phrase not listed below you can visit the A to Z Index.
Health Benefits for Members of Congress and Certain Congressional Staff (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)
The federal government, as an employer, offers health benefits to its employees, including Members of Congress and congressional staff. Prior to 2014, Members and staff had access to many of the same health benefits as other federal employees. For example, Members and staff were eligible to voluntarily enroll in employer-sponsored health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), and they could choose to participate in other health benefit programs, such as the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS).
In the EU28, 10 million part-timers are underemployed…and 11 million persons considered as a potential additional labour force
The EU28 population aged 15 to 74 can be classified into three groups: in 2013, these were 216.4 million persons in employment, 26.2 million unemployed and 137.2 million economically inactive. Among those in employment, 43.7 million were part-time workers, of which 9.9 million (23% of part-time workers) are underemployed, meaning they wished to work more hours and were available to do so.
Among the economically inactive population (those persons neither employed nor unemployed), there were 9.3 million persons aged 15 to 74 available to work, but not seeking2 and 2.2 million seeking work, but not available in the EU28 in 2013. While not part of the economically active population, both groups have a certain attachment to the labour market and could be considered as a potential additional labour force of 11.5 million persons, equivalent to 4.7% of the labour force.
Catching Up: The Labor Market Outcomes of New Immigrants in Sweden
Source: Migration Policy Institute
The considerable diversity among Sweden’s immigrants reflects a humanitarian migration policy. Refugees have arrived in the country since the 1970s and 1980s, with their countries of origin shifting according to the ethnic and political conflicts of any given period. Sweden is also a longstanding magnet for labor migration from surrounding Scandinavia, and has attracted mobile EU citizens since its entry into the European Union in 1995—and especially following the EU enlargements of 2004 and 2007. Sweden’s immigration flows continue to change today, as policy reforms in 2008 allowed employers to bring non-EU labor migrants to the country for the first time in decades.
This report assesses how new immigrants to Sweden fare in the country’s labor market. The report is part of a series of six case studies on labor market outcomes among immigrants to European Union countries.
The U.K.’s Ambitious New Retirement Savings Initiative
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
The brief’s key findings are:
- The United Kingdom is rolling out a low-cost retirement system for workers who lack pension coverage.
- The new system has three core elements:
- Employers auto-enroll their workers at a 4-percent contribution rate, matched by the employer and government combined.
- A new non-profit provides the infrastructure to keep costs low.
- The plans’ target date funds start young workers with low-risk investments to avoid losses that could discourage saving.
- The U.S.’s new “myRA” program includes two similar design features – low-risk investments and government infrastructure – but it lacks auto-enrollment.