Subject: Studies in the News 05-07 (March 25, 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 EDUCATION
   College education and economic security
EMPLOYMENT
   Workers' compensation crisis in California
   People with disabilities and employment
   Possible changes in social security disability
   Workforce Investment Act
   Retail firms and Americans with Disabilities Act
   Baby boomers exiting the labor force
   Shrinking medical insurance benefits for retirees
   Working parents and sick leave
   Fair leave practices for parents
   Building skills and increasing economic vitality
   Workforce planning in complex organizations
   Strategic human capital management
   Measuring hiring activity and job creation
   Best-performing cities for employment
   Diversity management practices in government
   Future of social security
   State and local government's retirement systems
   Social Security long-term projections
   Retirement plans
   Cal-OSHA standards used to determine negligence
   Workplace safety in the meat and poultry industry
   Youth employment rates
INSURANCE
   Cost of worker's compensation in Sacramento
PREVIOUSLY IN STUDIES IN THE NEWS
   Studies in the News, November 2004
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:

EDUCATION

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Working Hard, Falling Short: America’s Working Families and the Pursuit of Economic Security. By Tom Waldron and others, Working Poor Families Project. (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) 2004. 36 p.

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

["The California Budget Project cited statistics showing that the state has a 40-percent greater percentage of working-poor families than the national average and are headed by people that haven't graduated from high school. With education becoming more important for a person's lifetime earning potential as well as a driving force for high-tech industries, colleges are a good way to address social equity and economic growth."]

[Request #S50701]

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EMPLOYMENT

"The Workers' Compensation Crisis in California." By David Neumark. IN: California Economic Policy, vol. 1, no. 1 (January 2005) pp. 1-19.

["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 cost 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 #S50721]

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DISABLED WORKERS

Serving People with Disabilities Through the Workforce Investment Act's One-Stop Career Centers. By Pamela Holcomb, Urban Institute, and Burt S. Barnow, Johns Hopkins University. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) November 2004. 58 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411132_onestop_career_centers.pdf

["This paper examines the extent to which people with disabilities are served through WIA’s One-Stop system and discusses its capacity to serve people with disabilities who desire employment assistance, both in terms of common barriers to access as well as promising strategies to improve service delivery to people with disabilities."]

[Request #S50702]

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Social Security Disability: Improved Processes for Planning and Conducting Demonstrations May Help SSA More Effectively Use Its Demonstration Authority. By the Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-19. (The Office, Washington, DC) November 4, 2004. 39 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d0519.pdf

["In 2002, SSA paid about $60 billion in Disability Insurance cash benefits to 5.5 million disabled workers, with average monthly benefits amounting to $834 per person.... To encourage DI beneficiaries to return to work -- and, potentially, to leave the benefit rolls -— Congress has, over the years, enacted legislation providing various work incentives.... The DI demonstration projects that SSA has conducted since 1980 have not extensively addressed a wide range of these return-to-work policy issues."]

[Request #S50703]

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Workforce Investment Act: Labor Has Taken Several Steps to Facilitate Access to One-stops for Persons with Disabilities, But These Actions May Not Be Sufficient. By U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-54. (The Office, Washington, DC) December 14, 2004. 57 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d0554.pdf

["The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 includes provisions intended to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the programs and activities offered through one-stop career centers.... This report examines what the Department of Labor states and the one-stops have done to facilitate comprehensive access to the WIA one-stop system."]

[Request #S50704]

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The Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on the Entry and Exit of Retail Firms. By James E. Prieger, AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. Working Paper 04-23. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2004. 63 p.

Full Text at: aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/page.php?id=1074

["In this paper [the authors] seek to determine if the ADA has a measurable impact on the number of firms, the entry of new firms, and the failure rates of existing firms in the retail sector. [The authors] focus on retailers because they are subject to both the employment and customer accessibility provisions of the ADA."]

[Request #S50705]

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Disability and Retirement: The Early Exit of Baby Boomers from the Labor Force. By Congressional Budget Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) November 2004. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/60xx/doc6018/11-22-LaborForce.pdf

["This paper examines the characteristics of men and women who leave the labor force before reaching age 62 and analyzes their income sources given that they no longer work for pay."]

[Request #S50706]

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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Current Trends and Future Outlook for Retiree Health Benefits. Findings from the Kaiser/Hewitt 2004: Survey on Retiree Health Benefits. By Frank McArdle and others, Hewitt Associates. (The Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, California) 2004. 74 p.

Full Text at: www.kff.org/medicare/7194/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=49752

["The number of companies that offer health coverage to retirees has been on the decline for 15 years. Among those that continue to subsidize retiree coverage, the move to treat current and former workers differently reflects a desire to leave health benefits in place for those who have already retired despite several consecutive years of double-digit increases in health care costs."]

[Request #S50707]

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Taking the Next Step: What Can the U.S. Learn about Sick Leave from New Zealand? By Jodie Levin-Epstein, Center for Law and Social Policy. Policy Brief. No. 2. Work-Life Balance Series. Publication No. 05-01. (The Center, Washington, DC) January 2005. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/publications/work_life_brf2.pdf

["The Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit research center, conducted a survey, which found that among low-wage and low-income workers, only 55 percent had access to paid sick leave compared to 82 percent of high-wage and high-income workers. This policy brief looks at what New Zealand has done to provide paid sick days for its workers. Drawing from the New Zealand experience, the brief then provides recommendations on what United States policy-makers can do."]

[Request #S50708]

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High-Wire Act: Balancing Families and Jobs at Precarious Points: The Role of Work-Leave in New Zealand and the United States. By Jodie Levin-Epstein, Center for Law and Social Policy. Ian Axford Fellowship Report. (The Center, Washington, DC) June 2004. 88 p.

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

["This report ... examines two work-leave policies: parental leave and sick days leave. It considers the implications of these policies, particularly for low-income families and for small businesses, in New Zealand and the United States."]

[Request #S50709]

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EMPLOYMENT SKILLS

Building Skills, Increasing Economic Vitality: A Handbook of Innovative State Policies. By Jack Mills and others, Jobs for the Future. (Jobs For The Future, Boston, Massachusetts) January 2005. 44 pages.

Full Text at: www.jff.org/jff/PDFDocuments/buildingskills.pdf

["This report highlights some of the most promising developments in state workforce and skill development policy, focusing on four areas: redesigning financing for workforce development; strengthening workforce development/economic development linkages; building the capacity of workforce intermediaries; and expanding community college capacity." Moving Ideas (February 8, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S50710]

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Workforce Planning in Complex Organizations. By RAND Corporation. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2004. 3 p.

Full Text at: www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB7570/RAND_RB7570.pdf

[“Workforce planning can help ensure that an organization has the right mix -– by education, experience, and other important characteristics -– of personnel to advance its functional and organizational objectives. To succeed, workforce planning should answer questions regarding desired workforce characteristics now and in the future, and how organizational practices are helping maintain or develop these characteristics.”]

[Request #S50711]

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Human Capital: Preliminary Observations on Final Department of Homeland Security Human Capital Regulations: Testimony. By David M. Walker, U.S. Government Accountability Office. Presented to the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, The Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security, and Governmental Affairs. GAO-05-320T. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 10, 2005. 31 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d05320t.pdf

["Strategic human capital management at DHS can help it marshal, manage, and maintain the people and skills needed to meet its critical mission ... DHS and the Office of Personnel Management have now jointly released the final regulations on DHS’s new human capital system. This testimony provides preliminary observations on selected provisions of the final regulations."]

[Request #S50712]

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JOB CREATION

Help-Wanted Advertising and Job Vacancies. By Rob Valletta, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Economic Letter. No. 2005-02. (The Bank, San Francisco, California) 2005. 4 p.

Full Text at: www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2005/el2005-02.pdf

["The job vacancy rate, which represents employers' unmet labor demand, is an important indicator of the short-term outlook for hiring and job creation.... Analysts and observers interested in labor demand and hiring activity have relied on the Conference Board's 'Help-Wanted Advertising Index' to measure changes in job vacancies over time."]

[Request #S50713]

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Best Performing Cities: Where America's Jobs are Created and Sustained. By Ross DeVel and Lorna Wallace, Milken Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) 2004. 44 p.

Full Text at: www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/best_performing_cities_2004.pdf

["The ... index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas based upon their economic performance and their ability to create, as well as keep, the greatest number of jobs in the nation.... This index enables businesses, industry associations, economic development agencies, investors, academics, governments and public policy groups, to assess and monitor recent metro performance."]

[Request #S50715]

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MANAGEMENT

Expert-Identified Leading Practices and Agency Examples. By U.S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-90. (The Office, Washington, DC) January 2005. 47 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-90

[For purposes of our review, diversity management is defined as a process intended to create and maintain a positive work environment where the individuals are valued, so that all can reach their potential.... GAO was asked to identify (1) leading diversity management practices and (2) examples of the identified practices in the federal government."]

[Request #S50716]

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RETIREMENT

The Future of Social Security: Before the Special Committee on Aging United States Senate. By Congressional Budget Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 3, 2005. 13 p.

Full Text at: www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/60xx/doc6068/02-03-SocialSecurity.pdf

["If current spending and tax policies do not change, the aging of the baby-boom generation combined with rising health care costs, will cause a historic shift in the United States fiscal situation.... Although placing federal fiscal policy on a sustainable path will not be easy, the sooner that policymakers act to do so, the less difficult it will be to make economic and budgetary adjustments."]

[Request #S50717]

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Employee-Retirement Systems of State and Local Governments: 2002. By U.S. Census Bureau. (The Bureau, Washington, DC) December 2004. 71 p.

Full Text at: www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/gc024x6.pdf

["This report provides statistics on the financial transactions and characteristics of state and local government retirement systems. The tables present data on the revenues, benefit payments, cash and security holdings, and membership of these employee retirement systems."]

[Request #S50718]

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Updated Long-Term Projections for Social Security. By the Congressional Budget Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) January 2005. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/60xx/doc6064/03-03-LongTermProjections.pdf

["The Congressional Budget Office presents future Social Security benefits under two scenarios. In one scenario, outlays include the full benefits owed. This is the “scheduled benefits” scenario. In the second analysis, outlays include only those benefits that the Social Security Administration has legal authority to pay under current law. Thus, that scenario assumes that all benefits are reduced annually once the trust funds are exhausted so that total outlays equal available revenues."]

[Request #S50719]

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Report on Retirement Plans: Efficient Administration: Achieving Winning Results. By Diversified Investment Advisors. (Diversified Investment Advisors, New York, New York) 2004. 36 p.

Full Text at: www.calpers.ca.gov/eip-docs/about/press/news/definedplans/employee-retention.pdf

["This document contains data based on the 2003 plan year and focuses specifically on the Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit plans of U.S. companies with 1,000 employees or more. The population of respondents includes both privately-owned and publicly-traded business. This report highlights the type of loans offered, plan administration considerations, staffing levels, and costs."]

[Request #S50720]

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WORKPLACE SAFETY

Rowdy Elsner v. Carl Uveges. California Supreme Court. S113799. December 20, 2004. 29 p.

Full Text at: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S113799.PDF

["Cal-OSHA standards can be admitted in third-party lawsuits, meaning that an injured employee at a manufacturing plant could cite Cal-OSHA standards in court in trying to show that a supplier of equipment to the factory was guilty of negligence.... The ruling is expected to have a potentially big impact on the construction industry, in which workers are often injured because of missteps by someone other than their employer." Sacramento Bee (January 16, 2005) 1.]

[Request #S50722]

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Workplace Safety and Health: Safety in the Meat and Poultry Industry, While Improving, Could Be Further Strengthened. By U. S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-05-96. (The Office, Washington, DC) January 2005. 75 p.

Full Text at: www.gao.gov/new.items/d0596.pdf

["To strengthen its efforts to improve worker safety and health in meat and poultry plants, GAO recommends that OSHA, among other things, consider adjusting its criteria for selecting plants for inspection and audits to include those that have had large reductions in their injury and illness rates over time, and changing the way it collects data on plants in order to make it easier to measure the impact of its programs."]

[Request #S50723]

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YOUTH

What Is Happening to Youth Employment Rates? By Congressional Budget Office. (The Office, Washington, DC) 2004. 20 p.

Full Text at: www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/60xx/doc6017/11-18-YouthEmployment.pdf

["This paper examines trends in the youth labor market from 1979-2000 and the changes during the labor market downturn between 2000 and 2003. It also considers factors that may account for the trends, such as an increase in school enrollment rates, and present information on the percentage of youth who are neither enrolled in school nor employed."]

[Request #S50724]

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INSURANCE

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

"Go Go Go ... To Sacramento." By Jayanta Guin. IN: Risk and Insurance (December 2004) Online.

Full Text at: www.riskandinsurance.com/041201_specreport_2.asp

["Estimates of potential losses were calculated using hurricane, earthquake, severe thunderstorm and terrorism models for each of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas.... Risk executives looking to minimize their property and casualty exposure might want to consider setting up shop in the capitol -- so long as they don't mind the risk of paying through the nose for workers' compensation premiums."]

[Request #S50725]

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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, 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;" and others.]

[Request #S50726]

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