Subject: Studies in the News 05-37 (October 19, 2005)


CALIFORNIA RESEARCH BUREAU
CALIFORNIA STATE LIBRARY
Studies in the News:
Employment, Training, Vocational Education and Welfare to Work Supplement


Contents This Week

Introductory Material EMPLOYMENT
   Decentralized job growth
   Shortage of apprenticeship programs
   Better jobs for low-income workers
   Employee benefits in private industry
   Health premiums increasing for workers
   Exercising flexible work schedules
   Migrant worker programs
   Underground labor force
   Low-wage workforce growing
   Enhancing regional innovative activity
   Living-wage benefits in Los Angeles
   Living wages leads to fewer jobs
   Harassment and working conditions
   Education level and unemployment rate
   Barriers to employment for CalWORKs recipients
   Gender gap in economic opportunity
   New economy calling for new skills
   Value of medical treatment for workers
   Workers' compensation costs
   Understanding workers' compensation changes
   Permanent disability compensation
   Role of workforce intermediaries
   Current workforce development
   Training funds and outcomes
   Workforce development strategies
   Funding for workforce development initiatives
   Workforce Investment Act
HUMAN SERVICES
   Help paying for child care
   Work support programs
   Trends in welfare-to-work
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, August - October 2005
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

  • When available, the URL for the full text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EMPLOYMENT

AFRICAN AMERICANS

Job Sprawl and the Spatial Mismatch Between Blacks and Jobs. By Michael A. Stoll, UCLA School of Public Affairs. Prepared for the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. (The Institution, Washington, DC) February 2005. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.brookings.edu/metro/pubs/20050214_jobsprawl.pdf

["Most job growth and creation occurs at some distance from those persons who are in most dire need of employment. This phenomenon is explored in depth throughout this recent paper. This report highlights several key findings, including the observation that metropolitan areas with higher levels of employment decentralization exhibit greater spatial mismatch between the relative locations of jobs and black residents." The Scout Report (March 3, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53701]

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APPRENTICESHIPS

Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Labor Can Better Use Data to Target Oversight. By Government Accountability Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) August 2005. 73 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d05886.pdf

["Between 2002 and 2012 nearly 850,000 jobs will open in the construction industry; experts predict that there will not be enough skilled workers to fill them. This GAO report assessed 1) the extent to which Labor monitors registered apprenticeship programs in the states where it has direct oversight, 2) its oversight activities in states that do their own monitoring, and 3) the outcomes for construction apprentices."]

[Request #S53702]

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ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Engaging Employers to Benefit Low-income Job Seekers: Lessons from the Jobs Initiative. By Judith Combes Taylor and Jerry Rubin, Jobs for the Future. Prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (Jobs for the Future, Boston, Massachusetts) 2005. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.aecf.org/initiatives/fes/pdf/engagemp.pdf

["Employers make choices that are key to the ability of low-income people to get and keep jobs and advance in the workforce. This study asks questions about the employer's role and reflects on the experiences of employers in the Jobs Initiative, a nine-year, six-site, $30 million effort to reform local labor markets and help connect low-income people to good jobs." Family Economic Success Quarterly Newsletter (July 14, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53703]

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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United States, March 2005. By the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor. (The Bureau, Washington, DC) August 2005. 32 p.

[“Workers in the West have the highest access to employer-sponsored health care coverage but are offered retiree benefits at the lowest rate in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Seventy-three percent of employees in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Alaska were offered medical benefits by their employers…. That was higher than the 70 percent of workers nationwide who received such benefits. But only 55 percent of workers in those states had access to benefits after they retired, compared with 60 percent of employees nationwide, according to the report.“ San Francisco Chronicle (August 25, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53704]

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Falling Apart: Declining Job-based Health Coverage for Working Families in California and the United States. By Arindrajit Dube and others, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. (The Center, Berkeley, California.) 2005. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.wpusa.org/publications/complete/wpusa_falling.pdf

["One in four adults statewide will be uninsured by 2010 if health premiums keep increasing by more than 10 percent a year.... The situation will be worse for the lowest paid workers. Only 30 percent of those in the lower half of the income spectrum will have job-based health insurance by 2010,." Sacramento Bee (June 3, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53705]

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FLEXIBLE WORKPLACE

How to Exercise Flexible Work: Take Steps with a "Soft Touch" Law. By Jodie Levin-Epstein, Center For Law and Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) July 2005. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/publications/work_life_brf3.pdf

["This brief describes how U.K. employers partnered with government on work-life balance, highlights findings about flexible work, and identifies issues to explore in any U.S. adaptation."]

[Request #S53706]

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IMMIGRATION

"Survey of Mexican Migrants: Attitudes about Immigration and Major Demographic Characteristics." By Robert Suro, Pew Hispanic Center. (The Center, Washington, DC) March 2, 2005. 30 p.

Full Text at: pewhispanic.org/files/reports/41.pdf

["The survey of Mexican migrants provides detailed information on the demographic characteristics, living arrangements, work experiences and attitudes toward immigration of Mexican adults who completed a questionnaire as they were applying for a matrícula consular, an identity document issued by Mexican diplomatic missions. Fieldwork was conducted in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Raleigh, and Fresno."]

[Request #S53707]

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The Underground Labor Force Is Rising to the Surface. By Robert Justich and Betty Ng, Bear Stearns Management Incorporated. (Bear Stearns, New York, New York) January 3, 2005. 14 p.

Full Text at: www.bearstearns.com/bscportal/pdfs/underground.pdf

Illegal immigrants constitute a large and growing force in the political, economic, and investment spheres in the United States. The size of this extra-legal segment of the population is significantly understated because the official U.S. Census does not capture the total number of illegal immigrants. In turn, the growth of the underground work force is increasingly concealing the economic impact of this below-market labor supply.... This gross undercounting is a serious accounting issue, which could ultimately lead to government policy errors in the future."]

[Request #S53708]

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INCOME INEQUALITY

A Growing Divide: The State of Working California 2005. By California Budget Project. (The Project, Sacramento, California) September 2005. 11 p.

Full Text at: www.cbp.org/2005/0509_laborday.pdf

[“A growing divide the state of working Californians. This year’s new continues to be mixed. While jobless rates are down and the state is showing signs or economic recovery, there are some troubling trends emerging as the state’s low-wage workforce continues to grow.”]

[Request #S53709]

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LABOR MARKET CONDITIONS

"Do Only Big Cities Innovate? Technological Maturity and the Location of Innovation. By Michael J. Orlando and Michael Verba. IN: Economic Review, vol. 90, no. 2 (Second Quarter) 2005. pp. 31-57.

Full Text at: www.kc.frb.org/PUBLICAT/ECONREV/Pdf/2q05orla.pdf

["More populous regions dominate in relatively new technological fields where innovations are more original. But less populous regions can compete in relatively mature technological fields where innovations are more incremental. This finding should be of interest to research and development professionals -- and to policymakers who are seeking ways to enhance regional innovative activity."]

[Request #S53710]

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MINIMUM WAGE

Examining the Evidence: The Impact of the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance on Workers and Business. David Fairris and others, University of California, Irvine. (The University, Irvine, California) 2005. 144 p.

Full Text at: www.losangeleslivingwagestudy.org/docs/Examinig_the_Evidence_full.pdf

["The controversial 'living wage' law adopted in 1997 by the City of Los Angeles raised pay for about 10,000 workers without producing the heavy job losses predicted by opponents.... Indexed to inflation, the living wage floor now stands at $10.00 an hour, or $8.75 an hour if health insurance is included -- significantly higher than the California minimum wage of $6.75." Los Angeles Times (June 2, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53711]

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A Decade of Living Wages: What Have We Learned? By Scott Adams and David Neumark, Public Policy Institute of California. California Economic Policy. Vol. 1, No. 3. (Teh Institute, San Francisco, California) July 2005. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/EP_605SAEP.pdf

["Consider the movement to enact what is known as a living wage in communities across the country. Contending that the federal or state minimum wage is too low to support a head of household, advocates have lobbied for a higher minimum, most often applied to companies that contract to provide services for local government or receive some kind of business assistance from the public agency.... [Researchers] found that a 50 percent increase in the living wage leads to about a 2 percent increase in wages for the lowest skilled workers. But they also found that the same 50 percent increase leads to a 6 percent reduction in employment for that same group of workers." Sacramento Bee (June 30, 2005) B7.]

[Request #S53712]

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT

eEqual Employment Opportunity Commission et al. v. National Education Association. U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. 04-35029. September 2, 2005. 13 p.

Full Text at: www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/E340D76D1D4D2F3E882570700053DE5A/$file/0435029.pdf?openelement

[“Sexual harassment doesn't have to be motivated by sex -- or even by sexism -- to be illegal, as long as the harasser abuses one sex more than another, a federal appeals court ruled…. The court said bullying aimed at one sex can be sexual harassment if it is so severe that it worsens the employees' working conditions substantially.” San Francisco Chronicle (September 3, 2005) B2.]

[Request #S53713]

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UNEMPLOYMENT STATISTICS

Age and Education Effects on the Unemployment Rate. By Rob Valletta and Jaclyn Hodges, Federal Rerseve Bank of San Francisco. FRBSF Economic Letter. No. 2005-15 (The Bank, San Francisco, California) July 15, 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2005/el2005-15.pdf

[“This Economic Letter focuses on two demographic factors that help explain the reduction in the unemployment rate over the past few decades…. Our results suggest that the aging of the labor force and rising educational attainment can account for a significant portion of the decline in the unemployment rate over the past two and a half decades."]

[Request #S53714]

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WELFARE RECIPIENTS

Barriers to Employment Among CalWORKs Recipients in San Joaquin County. By Richard Speiglman and Jean C. Norris, California Policy Research Center University of California. (The Center, Berkeley, California) 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at: wprp.ucop.edu/PMBPHIJUN2005.pdf

[“Ideally, both child care and transportation subsidies should remain available to former recipients who are working for low wages and lack other sources of income. Our analysis also suggests that experiencing even one barrier substantially reduces welfare recipients’ ability to fulfill the 32-hour-per-week work requirement. Experiencing three or more barriers reduces their likelihood of working even part-time.”]

[Request #S53715]

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WOMEN

Women's Empowerment: Measuring the Global Gap. By Augusto Lopez-Claros and Saadia Zahidi, World Economic Forum. (The Forum, Geneva, Switzerland) 2005. 23 p.

Full Text at: www.weforum.org/pdf/Global_Competitiveness_Reports/Reports/gender_gap.pdf

["In an annual survey on gender equality, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Finland ranked at the top of the list as the countries with the smallest gender gaps....The United States ranks poorly on the specific dimensions of economic opportunity and health and well being compromised by the meager maternity leave, lack of maternity leave benefits and limited government-provided childcare." Family Initiative Newsletter (June 6, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53716]

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WORK CONDITIONS

Overwork in America: When the Way We Work Becomes Too Much: Executive Summary. By Ellen Galinsky and others, Families and Work Institute. (The Institute, New York, New York) 2005. 13 p.

Full Text at: familiesandwork.org/summary/overwork2005.pdf

["The fast-paced, global 24/7 economy, the pressures of competition, and technology have blurred the traditional boundaries between work life and home life. Furthermore, this new economy calls for new skills -- skills like responding quickly to competing demands and jumping from task to task. In response, the topic of being overworked has become a hot subject of discussion. This study was conducted to define and measure the impact of being overworked on employees and employers."]

[Request #S53717]

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WORKERS COMPENSATION

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Medical Care in California. By Allard E. Dembee, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Prepared for the California Health Care Foundation. (The Foundation, Oakland, California) June 2005. 48 p.

Full Text at: www.chcf.org/documents/insurance/UnderstandingWCMedicalCare.pdf

[“In 2004, Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation (SB 899) designed to keep costs in check, including imposing new fee schedules and guidelines to determine treatment and benefit payments. This report profiles the workers’ compensation program and how it has evolved since then. It provides an overview of the medical care aspects of workers’ compensation in California, a summary of available research studies, and a guide to understanding the recent changes.”]

[Request #S53718]

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The Workers' Compensation Crisis in California. By David Neumark, Public Policy Institute of California. California Economic Policy. Vol. 1, No. 1. (The Institute, San Francisco, California) 2005. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.ppic.org/content/pubs/EP_105DNEP.pdf

["The workers' compensation crisis in California is a crisis of escalating employer costs. Over the early part of this decade, costs to employers nearly tripled. Perhaps more important, the level of workers' compensation costs has approached an average of about 6 percent of payroll costs, which, unless shifted to workers, might pose a serious 'tax' on employment that could have adverse consequences for employment."]

[Request #S53719]

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Measuring the Value of Medical Treatment. By Alex Swedlow and Jeffrey Harris. California Workers’ Compensation Institute. (The Institute, Oakland, California) September 2005. 15 p.

[“Over the past decade, California workers’ compensation medical treatment costs have increased dramatically…. The public policy challenge is to find an objective way to measure the value of medical treatment to an injured worker when there is no research to provide evidence of that value.”]

[Request #S53720]

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An Evaluation of California's Permanent Disability Rating System. By Robert T. Reville and others, RAND. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2005. 138 p.

["This study reports the final results of the evaluations of how well the California Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) system assesses permanent disabilities from workplace injuries and assigns benefits to injured workers.... The research reported here should help to guide the implementation of recent reforms to the California workers' compensation system. The disability rating methods discussed in this report will inform an ongoing evaluation of California's PPD system that will ultimately lead to greater equity in benefits for injured workers and minimize unnecessary disputes between injured workers and their employers."]

[Request #S53721]

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WORKFORCE

Workforce Intermediaries: Powering Regional Economies in the New Century. By David Jason Fischer, Center for an Urban Future. Prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (The Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) 2005. 29 p.

Full Text at: www.aecf.org/publications/data/workforce_int.pdf

["Through the economic ups and downs of the last few years, it has become clear that cities and states simply must have competitive workforce development policies to compete in a changing economy.... This is the role of workforce intermediaries, quasi-governmental entities that are quickly becoming indispensable players in 21st century workforce systems.... As this report will show, effective workforce intermediaries can bring order and cohesiveness to a very complicated area of policy."]

[Request #S53722]

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Mapping California's Workforce Development System: A Guide to Workforce Development Programs in California. By California Budget Project. (The Project, Sacramento, California) August 2005. 7 p.

["This publication is designed to foster a broad understanding of California's current workforce development efforts by presenting a simple visual 'map' of the range and size of the programs available, who these programs serve, and what kinds of services they offer. [The guide] also identifies key workforce development challenges facing the state and presents recommendations for addressing them."]

[Request #S53723]

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Workforce Investment Act: Substantial Funds Are Used for Training, But Little Is Known Nationally about Training Outcomes. By U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-650. (The Office, Washington, DC) June 2005. 55 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d05650.pdf

["The Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998 seeking to create a system connecting employment, education, and training services to better match job seekers to labor market needs. Local boards used an estimated 40 percent of the WIA funds they had available in program year 2003 to obtain training services for WIA participants."]

[Request #S53724]

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A Work in Progress: Case Studies in Changing Local Workforce Development Systems. By Abt Associates and others. Prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (The Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) 2005. 43 p.

Full Text at: www.aecf.org/lists/fes/sept05/ji_systems_reform.pdf

["This study looks at the efforts to promote intentional workforce development system improvements in four Jobs Initiative sites. Case studies describe the different system changes sought in each site and the strategies used to accomplish those goals." Family Economic Success Newsletter (September 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53725]

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Finding Funding: A Guide to Federal Sources for Workforce Development Initiatives. By Nannette Relave and Elizabeth Mendes. (The Finance Project, Washington, DC) June 2005. 158 p.

Full Text at: www.financeproject.org/Publications/workforcefunding.pdf

["This guide focuses on identifying federal funding for workforce development initiatives. The guide provides a catalog of 87 federal sources, as well as guidance on accessing federal funds and building partnerships." Children's Bureau Express (October 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53726]

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Workforce Investment Act: Labor Should Consider Alternative Approaches to Implement New Performance and Reporting Requirements. By Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-539. (The Office, Washington, DC) May 2005. 64 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-539

["Common measures and new reporting changes can provide a better picture of the one-stop system, but implementation will pose challenges for states and could affect WIA’s reported performance, if not implemented carefully.... Four states said that they developed new IT systems when WIA began and have changed IT systems again because their first system was inadequate.... Thirty-seven states made major system changes such as building a completely new system or switching to internet-based software."]

[Request #S53727]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

Child Care Assistance Policies 2005: States Fail to Make Up Lost Ground, Families Continue to Lack Critical Supports. By Karen Schulman and Helen Blank, National Women's Law Center. (The Center, Washington, DC) 24 p.

Full Text at: www.nwlc.org/pdf/ChildCareSubsidyReport_September2005.pdf

["Care for one child can easily cost $4,000 to $10,000 a year, more than the cost of public college tuition.... An increasing number of families need help in paying for child care.... The number of children under six in low-income families rose from 9.12 million (40.3 percent of all children under six) in 2000 to 9.37 million (41.3 percent) in 2001, and was at 9.80 million (42.1 percent) in 2004. Despite this trend, many states have reduced access to child care help rather than expanding it."]

[Request #S53728]

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WELFARE REFORM

Turning Welfare into a Work Support: Six-year Impacts on Parents and Children from the Minnesota Family Investment Program. By Lisa A. Gennetian and others. (The Program, New York, New York) July 2005. 162 p.

Full Text at: www.mdrc.org/publications/411/full.pdf

["The program increased employment, income, and children’s school performance by using welfare payments to supplement the low earnings of welfare recipients who took jobs. While the effects on most parents’ earnings and income faded after six years, young children of single-parent long-term recipients were still performing better in school than their counterparts in a control group. For the most disadvantaged parents, Minnesota Family Investment Program seems to have created a lasting 'leg up' in the labor market, increasing their earnings and income through the sixth year and having large positive effects on their children."]

[Request #S53730]

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WELFARE TO WORK

Linking TANF Recipients with Paraprofessional Long-term Care Jobs. By Jacqueline Kauff and others, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Issue Brief. No. 8. (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC) 2005. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/linkingtanf.pdf

["The long-term care industry struggles to attract and retain aides to care for elderly, disabled, and chronically ill people. At the same time, adults -- most of them parents -- receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are searching for jobs to move from welfare to work. Is there a match? There just might be. Just over half of those on the TANF caseload in the four study states have the potential to succeed in paraprofessional long-term care jobs." Connect for Kids (June 6, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S53731]

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PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Employment, Training, Vocational Education and Welfare to Work Supplement.]

EMPLOYMENT

"Employment, Education, and Human Services." IN: Studies in the News, Issue 04-73 - 04-76 (November 2004).

[Includes: "Trade sanctions and child labor;" "Federal government workforce ;" "San Diego's pension reform committee ;" "Generational work attitudes;" "TANF and work activities;" "Families cycling on and off welfare;" and others.]

[Request #S4519]

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