Subject: Studies in the News 03-57 (September 11, 2003)


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


Contents This Week

Introductory Material ECONOMY
   Rise of unemployment in California
   Latino workforce
EMPLOYMENT
   Mentally ill and employment
   Minorities earning less
   Limiting workplace rights
   Optimistic economic forecasts
   Employment prospects for adults with limited English skills
   Declining employment among less-educated young men
   The state of California labor
   Condition of the human services work force
   State Government professional wage survey
   Women's employment strides increase
   Workforce Investment Act allocations
   Federal employees and competitive sourcing
HUMAN SERVICES
   Families without work or welfare
   Welfare-to-work strategies for young adults
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, July 14, 2003
   Studies in the News, August 13, 2003
   Studies in the News, September 5, 2003
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.

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to cslsirc@library.ca.gov or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:

ECONOMY

LABOR

State Of The State's Labor Markets: A Labor Day Briefing. By the Labor Market Information Division, Employment Development Department. (The Department, Sacramento, California) September 2003. 9 p.

Full Text at: www.calmis.ca.gov/SpecialReports/Labor-Day-Briefing-2003.pdf

["Regional unemployment rates in California vary widely, ranging from a low of 5.2 percent in the Southern Border Region to a high of 12.3 percent in the San Joaquin Valley in July 2003..... As of July 2003, there were 1.2 million unemployed Californians. One-third had been unemployed for less than five weeks, and six out of ten for less than 15 weeks. However, nearly one quarter had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more. More than half of unemployed persons are unemployed due to the loss of a job and one-quarter are re-entering the labor force after a period of absence."]

[Request #S9009]

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LATINOS

The Latino Workforce. By Sean Thomas-Breitfield, National Council of La Raza. Statistical Brief No. 3. (NCLR, Washington, DC) August 2003. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.nclr.org/policy/briefs/SB%203%20Latino%20workers-FNL.pdf

["This brief examines the most recent data on the educational attainment, employment status, earnings, union affiliation, and other facets of the Hispanic workforce. While it is widely recognized that Latinos have a strong work ethic, the report sheds light on the major challenges faced by Hispanic workers, including: Latino workers are more likely than their Black or White counterparts to be poor, earn low incomes, and be 'contingent' workers holding temporary jobs; Latinos who pursue higher education still earn less than other workers with similar educational backgrounds; and, the Hispanic unemployment rate (at 8.2% in August) remains significantly higher than that of White workers and the national average."]

[Request #S9010]

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EMPLOYMENT

DISABLED WORKERS

Strategies States Can Use to Employ Persons with Mental Illness. By the Center for Best Practices, National Governor's Association. (The Association, Washington, DC) July 2003. 15 p.

Full Text at: www.nga.org/cda/files/0703MENTALILLNESS.pdf

["People with persistent and severe mental illness have a harder time securing and keeping a job, although studies have found that most would prefer to work if afforded the opportunity and certain incentives to do so.... By providing treatment, supports, and employment services, many persons with mental illness can sustain employment, become more self-sufficient, contribute to society, and reduce funding in supportive services for states."]

[Request #S9011]

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INCOME INEQUITY

Wage Penalties In Brown-Color Occupations. By Lisa Catanzarite, Chicano Studies Research Center, University of California Los Angeles. Latino Policy & Issues Brief No. 8. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) September 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.sscnet.ucla.edu/esp/csrc/policybriefs/PB08.pdf

["This brief reports on research that clarifies the potential wage effects of immigration for native-born workers and discusses policies to mitigate such influences on earnings."]

[Request #S9012]

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LABOR MARKET CONDITIONS

Jobs Without Power. By Jonathan Tasini, Director, American Rights At Work. Working In America. (TomPaine.com, Washington, DC) 2003. 2 p. .

Full Text at: www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8750

["The moment Americans walk through the doors of their workplace, they enter into a world that strips away all their basic rights.... With each decade bringing new frustrations piled upon past economic burdens -- pensions declining or being taken away; slow growth in income; the attacks on Social Security and Medicare; the health care crisis; bad trade agreements; and a government policy that favors the rich over the poor -- the desire grows strong to bring to the workplace the principles of democracy, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."]

[Request #S9013]

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Labor Market Left Behind: Evidence Shows That Post-recession Economy Has Not Turned into a Recovery for Workers. By Jared Bernstein and Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institue. (The Institute, Washington, DC) September 2003. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.epinet.org/content.cfm/briefingpapers_bp142

["Looking ahead, Bernstein and Mishel note that although the pace of recovery will pick up, it is unlikely that unemployment will drop very much before the end of next year. The more pessimistic Blue Chip forecast is for unemployment of 6.2% at the end of 2004. Even the administration’s own forecast, the most optimistic of all, is for 5.8% unemployment at the end of this year and 5.5% at the end of 2004."]

[Request #S9014]

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LABOR STATISTICS

Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills. By Elise Richer, Center for Law and Social Policy (The Center, Washington, DC) July 15, 2003. 23 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1058473058.18/LEP_presentation.pdf

[Includes: "Thoughts on How to Improve English Language Ability and Related Outcomes;" "Workforce Investment Act;" "Current Systems Which Could Provide Services are Not Focused on this Population and are Poorly Regulated;" and others.]

[Request #S9015]

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Boom Times a Bust: Declining Employment Among Less-Educated Young Men. By Elise Richer and others, Center for Law and Social Policy (The Center, Washington, DC) July 2003. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/DMS/Documents/1058362464.08/Boom_Times.pdf

["During the 1990s, employment rates for less-educated young women rose significantly. Less-educated young men, however, did not experience a similar jump in employment rates. In fact, their employment rates remained stagnant during the decade, failing to return to higher rates of prior years.... We focus on the employment situation of young men (ages 18 to 24) who either lack a high school diploma or who have no education beyond a high school diploma and who are not institutionalized (thus excluding individuals currently in prison), not in school, and not in the military."]

[Request #S9016]

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LABOR UNION

The State of California Labor: 2003. By Ruth Milkman, University of California, and others. (Institute for Labor and Employment, Berkeley, California) August 2003. Various pagings.

Full Text at: www.ucop.edu/ile/scl/2003/index.html

[Includes: "Unionization Trends in California;" "New Perspectives on Employment and Inequality;" and "State and Local Labor Policy Initiatives;" "Innovations in State and Local Labor Legislation;" "Neutrality Laws and Labor Peace Agreements in California;" "Living Wage Ordinances in California;" "Recent Developments in California Labor Relations;" and others.]

[Request #S9017]

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SKILLED WORKFORCE

"Human Services Work Force in 'Critical Condition.'" By Andrew D. Beadle. IN: Youth Today (April 2003) pp. 24-25. The Unsolved Challenge of System Reform: Condition of the Frontline Human Services Workforce. By Janice Nitolli, The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (The Foundation, New York, New York) March 2003. And The Health and Human Services Workforce. By Paul C. Light, Center for Public Service, The Brookings Institution. (The Institution, Washington, DC) March 2003.

["New Studies Find Workers Motivated But Frustrated, and Predict a Grim Future Unless There Are Major Changes: The Casey report ... provides information about the workers, the challenges they face and how they might be overcome.... The Brookings survey provides a more detailed portrait, based on a lengthy random survey of 1,213 workers." Youth Today (April 2003) 24.]

Human Services Work Force in Critical Condition. 3 p.
http://www.youthtoday.org/youthtoday/aaapril2003/story5.html

The Unsolved Challenge of System Reform. 61 p.
http://www.aecf.org/initiatives/hswi/report_rev.pdf

Health of Human Services Workforce. 76 p.
http://www.brook.edu/gs/cps/humanservices.pdf

[Request #S9018]

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WAGES

AFT Public Employees Compensation Survey 2003: A Survey Of Professional, Scientific and Related Occupations in State Government. By AFT Public Employees. (American Federation of Teachers, ) June 2003. 129 p.

Full Text at: www.aft.org/pubemps/downloadable/FinalSurvey2003.pdf

["The annual AFT study ... reports salaries state-by-state for public employees in 44 job categories ... the data show that state employees who have collective-bargaining rights earn salaries as much as 63 percent higher than workers in other states.... The survey also serves as a window into general trends in the public employee workforce.] Governing (September 1, 2003) [online].]

[Request #S9019]

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WOMEN

Boom, Bust, and Beyond: The State of Working California. One Step Forward: California Working Women Make Gains Over the Last Two Decades. By Delaine McCullough, California Budget Project. (The Project, Sacramento, California) August 2003. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.cbp.org/2003/030827WomensReport.pdf

["During the economic boom of the late 1990s and continuing through 2002, women in California made important economic gains. Wages increased for female workers across the earnings spectrum, women’s employment in higher earning occupations increased, and the share of women with college degrees continued to grow. Still, women earned 83 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2002, and many female workers and their families lack health and pension coverage. This report describes trends in wages and employment of women, particularly those at the middle and low end of the wage distribution."]

[Request #S9023]

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WORKFORCE

Workforce Investment Act: Potential Effects of Alternate Formulas on State Allocations. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-03-1043. (The Office, Washington, DC) August 2003. 74 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-1043

["For this review, we focused on ... alternative formula factors that are better aligned with current programs; ... changes to the current formulas that might affect the distribution of WIA funds among the states; ... [and] the implications of proposed program and formula changes in the House's WIA reauthorization bill."]

[Request #S9020]

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Getting the Right People for the Right Job: Solving Human Capital Challenges With Competitive Sourcing. By Geoffrey F. Segal and others, Reason Public Policy Institute. Policy Study No. 312. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) September 2003. 45 p.

Full Text at: www.rppi.org/ps312.pdf

["By 2004, nearly one-third of the federal workforce will be eligible to retire and another 21 percent will be eligible for early retirement. That means more than 900,000 employees, or over 50 percent of the workforce, will be eligible to leave federal service.... Sourcing more jobs and positions will help agencies tackle their human capital crunch,providing them with maximum flexibility in getting the job done effectively and efficiently. In turn, agencies will become more focused on the core missions of the agency while utilizing the highest performing mix of in-house assets and contractors."]

[Request #S9021]

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HUMAN SERVICES

WELFARE

The Unprotected Recession: Record Numbers of Families Have No Work and No Welfare in 2001. By the Children's Defense Fund. (The Fund, Washington, DC) August 28, 2003. 11 p.

Full Text at: www.childrensdefense.org/pdf/no_work_no_welfare.pdf

["In the late 1990's, when the economy was booming, more than a million parents moved from welfare to work, with the help of work supports like child care assistance. But when welfare's strict emphasis on work collided with widespread job losses and severe cutbacks in state services, help for thousands of the nation's most vulnerable families vanished, leaving them jobless and struggling to meet their children's basic needs. According to CDF, 2001 data show a steep increase in the worst of child poverty rates coinciding with the largest one-year jump in female-headed families with children who were without work or welfare -- and the early figures for 2002 don't look better." Connect for Kids (September 2, 2003) 1.]

[Request #S9022]

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WELFARE TO WORK

Pursuing Economic Security for Young Adults: Five-Year Impacts of Pre-Employment Services in the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies. By Stephan Freedman. MDRC. (MDRC, Oakland, California) July 2003. 52 p.

Full Text at: www.mdrc.org/Reports2003/350/full.pdf

["Drawing from administrative records and survey data collected for the National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS) during the 1990s, this report extends MDRC’s research on whether mandatory employment-focused and education-focused welfare-to-work programs help people find jobs, attain stable employment, and earn more over time."]

[Request #S9024]

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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, 03-45 (July 14, 2003).

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2003/0345.htm#EMPLOYMENT

[Includes: "Proposed changes in overtime pay, Cost of workers' compensation claims;" and others.]

[Request #S9025]

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"Employment, Education and Human Services." IN: Studies in the News, Issue 03-56 (September 5, 2003).

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2003/0356.htm#EMPLOYMENT

[Includes: "Workers' Compensation system's cost;" and others].

[Request #S9026]

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"Employment, Education and Human Services." IN: Studies in the News, Issue 03-51 (August 13, 2003).

Full Text at: www.library.ca.gov/SITN/2003/0351.htm#HUMAN

[Includes: "Employment training and disadvantaged youth;" and others.]

[Request #S9026]

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