Category: Employment

Resource Category Topic Type
Involuntary Part-Time Employment
The number of involuntary part-time workers, defined as those who would like full time work but for a variety of economic reasons cannot find it, rose sharply during the Great Recession and reached a peak of over 9 million in 2010.1 Although unemployment overall has returned to its pre-recession level, involuntary part-time employment is still much higher than it was before the recession began, a trend that raises questions about the continuing ability of the economy to deliver employment security to people willing and able to work (see Box 1 on page 2). Involuntary part-timers include people like Salwa Shabazz, an African American woman who graduated from college in 2000 during an economic expansion. In an August 2016 opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Shabazz described her experience with involuntary part-time employment: I’ve worked on and off since 2008, but finding good work has become almost impossible. At one point, I was traveling two hours each way to get to my job at a state-run liquor store. I eventually had to quit when I suffered severe medical issues … A couple of years ago, I was able to work again and joined a job skills program. The program placed me at a job where I work part time—only 20 hours a week— as a cashier and food server at a university dining hall.…The unemployment rate apparently counts people like me as employed, even though I don’t work enough hours to pay my bills.2
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment Publication
Job Protection and Wage Replacement
Legislators across the United States are discussing paid family and medical leave, which allows workers to take an extended number of weeks away from their jobs, with some wage replacement, to care for a seriously ill, injured, or disabled family member, or a new child, or to tend to one’s own serious health condition. California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York currently have public programs that provide workers’ access to paid family and medical leave; Washington, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia recently passed similar legislation and have begun implementing their programs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment Publication
Lack of Protections for Home Care Workers: Overtime Pay and Minimum Wage
This brief examines overtime hours and hourly wages among home care workers (home health aides and personal care aides) and compares them with hospital and nursing home aides. These aides engage in similar work for their clients, even though they work in different institutional settings.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Health Insurance, Safety Net, Wages Publication
Low Wages Prevalent In Direct Care and Child Care Workforce
The large-scale movement of women into the paid labor market has brought sweeping change into family life and also in who cares for the elderly and children. This brief studies workers in two low wage, predominantly female care-giving occupations plagued with high turnover direct care workers and child care workers. It provides a better understanding of how they fare when compared with other female workers and discusses factors that contribute to their continued employment.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Employment, Women Publication
Low-Skill Workers in Rural America Face Permanent Job Loss
Global economic competition and other factors have cost rural America 1.5 million jobs in the past six years. This brief analyzes job displacement figures from around the country between 1997 and 2003. The loss of rural jobs was particularly large in the manufacturing sector, and the rate of loss was higher in the rural Northeast than in the rest of rural America. The key causes fueling the trend have been the push for cost savings through automation and cheaper labor overseas.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Low Income, Rural Publication
Many New Hampshire Jobs Do Not Pay a Livable Wage
As the U.S. economy falters and recession looms, 79 percent of jobs in New Hampshire do not pay a wage sufficient for single-parent families with two children to provide basic needs such as housing, food, transportation, child care, and health care. Carroll County has the lowest percentage of livable wage jobs, with only 13 percent of jobs paying a livable wage for single-parent families with two children.
New Hampshire Employment, Family, New Hampshire, Poverty, Wages Publication
Middle-Skill Jobs Remain More Common Among Rural Workers
This issue brief uses data from the Current Population Survey collected from 2003 to 2012 to assess trends in employment in middle-skill jobs and the Great Recession’s impact on middle-skill workers, with particular attention paid to differences between those in rural and urban places.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Rural, Urban Publication
New, Longer Road to Adulthood: Schooling, Work, and Idleness among Rural Youth, The
This report focuses on the education and work experiences of rural youth during the emerging adult years (age 20 to 24), as they make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It documents how rural emerging adults combine work and school and experience idleness, closely examines their educational attainment, and compares their experiences with those in central city and suburban areas.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Employment, Rural, Urban, Young Adults Publication
Older Americans Working More, Retiring Less
This Carsey brief finds that the percentage of Americans age 65 and older remaining in the labor force continues to grow steadily in urban, suburban, and rural areas. In 2009, 22 percent of older men and 13 percent of older women were still working compared to 17 percent of men and 9 percent of women in 1995. Moreover, increasing percentages of older workers hold full-time, full-year jobs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Seniors Publication
Paid Family and Medical Leave in New Hampshire
Life events such as an illness, the birth of a child, or a parent’s need for care require workers to take extended time away from their jobs. The aging of the New Hampshire population and the rise of women in the labor force mean that more workers in the state are likely to need extended time away from work to provide family care. But taking the leave often means loss of pay or even loss of a job. Access to paid family and medical leave is uneven in New Hampshire. Neither the federal government nor New Hampshire have a paid family and medical leave law or program, thus access to leave depends on whether it is included as a benefit offered by one’s employer. The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows certain workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid—but job-protected—leave to tend to a serious health condition or to care for a new child or a seriously ill relative within a 12-month period. To be eligible for FMLA, employees must work for an employer with 50 or more workers within a 75-mile radius and have worked 1,250 hours for the same employer over the previous year.1 Nationally, about 41 percent of employees are not covered by FMLA. In New Hampshire, 10 percent of firms employing fewer than 10 employees provided paid family care leave in 2011; among businesses employing 250 or more employees, 30 percent provided paid family care leave.2 Many men face stigma for taking leave, as cultural and workplace attitudes typically view men as breadwinners and women as caregivers.3 Indeed, in New Hampshire, women are more likely to take family and medical leave (paid or unpaid), yet they are less likely to have access to the benefit, according to 2016 Granite State Poll data. Furthermore, workers with the lowest family income lack access to paid leave. The current system, reliant on employer-provided paid leave and unpaid FMLA, is fragmented and unequal, with some workers having access to generous paid leave benefits and others either cobbling together paid and unpaid leave, leaving the labor force, or not providing the needed family care.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, New Hampshire, Public Opinion Publication
Paid Sick Time Helps Workers Balance Work and Family
In New Hampshire, workers fare better than workers nationally, yet one-quarter of Granite State workers do not have paid sick days. The lack of paid sick days places workers in a bind. They are forced to choose between caring for a sick family member or themselves and losing pay. This brief suggests that the long-term benefits of workers having paid sick days out way the cost for employers because it promotes less contagion among coworkers, increased productivity, and reduced turnover.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Community, Employment, New Hampshire, Safety Net Publication
Proposed EITC Expansion Would Increase Eligibility and Dollars for Rural and Urban “Childless” Workers
This brief uses data from the 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey to examine how President Obama’s proposed expanded eligibility and higher credit values might affect tax filers in both rural and urban America.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Employment, Rural, Safety Net, Tax, Urban Publication
Recessions Accelerate Trend of Wives as Breadwinners
This brief, Recessions Accelerate Trend of Wives as Breadwinners, investigates the increased role employed wives played in family economic stability prior to, during, and in the two years after the Great Recession, and makes comparisons to the 1990-1991 and 2001 recessions.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Gender, Income Publication
Rural Workers Have Less Access to Paid Sick Days
This brief, using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW) survey, analyzes paid sick time rates of workers by place and type of work. Paid sick days provide job protection to workers and a steady paycheck when they need to care for themselves or family members. Paid sick days also help workers with more limited resources who cannot otherwise afford to take a day off. Authors Kristin Smith and Andrew Schaefer report that a greater proportion of rural workers than urban workers (both suburban and central-city) lack access to at least five paid sick days per year. Their analysis suggests that where one works matters, both geographically and by sector, and the quality of the job also matters. The rural disadvantage is particularly pronounced among rural private-sector workers and part-time workers, but even rural full-time workers have less access to paid sick days than their urban counterparts.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Health, Rural Publication
Rural Workers More Likely to Work Nontraditional Shifts
Workers in rural areas have historically worked at different times of the day compared to their counterparts in urban areas, including during less traditional work periods, such as in the early morning, afternoon, and evening hours. This brief presents a snapshot of the rural workforce around the clock.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Rural, Urban Publication
Rural Workers Would Benefit from Unemployment Insurance Modernization
Rural workers stand to benefit from the modernization of unemployment insurance (UI) to cover part-time workers, which is an opportunity for states under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Plan (ARRA). Rural workers are more likely to work part-time, and many states that do not provide UI benefits to part-time workers have higher than average proportions of rural residents.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Rural, Safety Net, Unemployment Publication
Rural Workers Would Benefit More Than Urban Workers from an Increase in the Federal Minimum Wage
While members of the U.S. Senate considered the first increase in minimum wage in a decade, the Carsey Institute released findings of a study showing that it would benefit rural, low-wage workers every bit as much, if not more, than workers in big cities.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Rural, Urban, Wages Publication
Seventy-eight Percent of Working Rural Families to Receive Full Making Work Pay Tax Credit
The Making Work Pay Tax Credit provides eligible U.S. workers with additional money in each paycheck throughout the year. The fact sheet shows that 78 percent of rural working families will receive the full amount of the credit, while an additional 10 percent of families will receive a partial credit due to low earnings or high earnings. These tax credits, along with the expansion to the Child Tax Credit, are an important financial boost to families in rural America, particularly low-income working families.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Rural, Safety Net, Tax Publication
The Inequities of Job Loss and Recovery Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
In this policy brief, authors Rogelio Sáenz and Corey Sparks discuss the wide variations in unemployment and the level of job loss during the COVID-19 pandemic across the nation’s demographic groups that have historically suffered disparities in the workforce, including persons of color, women, and immigrants. It is particularly unfortunate that the calamity of the pandemic comes on the heels of major improvements in job prospects that these groups made over the last decade, as the workforce emerged from the Great Recession.
COVID-19 African Americans, COVID-19, Employment, Hispanics, Income, Inequality, Race, Unemployment, Women Publication
The Interaction Between the Minimum Wage and the Federal EITC
Increases in the minimum wage are widely assumed to be beneficial for low-income workers, but it is important to consider the effect an increase might have on eligibility for other benefits, particularly the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This fact sheet examines the interaction between the minimum wage and the EITC to determine whether a minimum wage increase would produce gains in the sum of earnings plus EITC dollars for low-income workers.1
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Income, Safety Net, Tax, Wages Publication