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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Jorgenson, Dale W.; Ho, Mun S.; Samuels, Jon D.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2015

    Labor quality growth represents the upgrading of the labor force through higher educational attainment and greater experience. While much attention has been devoted to the aging of the labor force and the ongoing retirement of the baby boomers, the looming plateau in average educational attainment of U.S. workers has been overlooked. The educational attainment of people emerging from the educational system, while high, has been nearly constant for the past several decades. Rising average educational attainment is about to become part of U.S. economic history. (author abstract)

    Labor quality growth represents the upgrading of the labor force through higher educational attainment and greater experience. While much attention has been devoted to the aging of the labor force and the ongoing retirement of the baby boomers, the looming plateau in average educational attainment of U.S. workers has been overlooked. The educational attainment of people emerging from the educational system, while high, has been nearly constant for the past several decades. Rising average educational attainment is about to become part of U.S. economic history. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry J.; Lane, Julia I.; Rosenblum, David B.; Andersson, Frederik
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2011

    Deindustrialization in the United States has triggered record-setting joblessness in manufacturing centers from Detroit to Baltimore. At the same time, global competition and technological change have actually stimulated both new businesses and new jobs. The jury is still out, however, on how many of these positions represent a significant source of long-term job quality and security. Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? addresses the most pressing questions for today’s workers: whether the U.S. labor market can still produce jobs with good pay and benefits for the majority of workers and whether these jobs can remain stable over time.

    What constitutes a “good” job, who gets them, and are they becoming more or less secure? Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? examines U.S. job quality and volatility from the perspectives of both workers and employers. The authors analyze the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD) data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, and the book covers data for twelve states during twelve years, 1992–2003, resulting in an...

    Deindustrialization in the United States has triggered record-setting joblessness in manufacturing centers from Detroit to Baltimore. At the same time, global competition and technological change have actually stimulated both new businesses and new jobs. The jury is still out, however, on how many of these positions represent a significant source of long-term job quality and security. Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? addresses the most pressing questions for today’s workers: whether the U.S. labor market can still produce jobs with good pay and benefits for the majority of workers and whether these jobs can remain stable over time.

    What constitutes a “good” job, who gets them, and are they becoming more or less secure? Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? examines U.S. job quality and volatility from the perspectives of both workers and employers. The authors analyze the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD) data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, and the book covers data for twelve states during twelve years, 1992–2003, resulting in an unprecedented examination of workers and firms in several industries over time.

    Counter to conventional wisdom, the authors find that good jobs are not disappearing, but their character and location have changed. The market produces fewer good jobs in manufacturing and more in professional services and finance. Not surprisingly, the best jobs with the highest pay still go to the most educated workers. The most vulnerable workers—older, low-income, and low-skilled—work in the most insecure environments where they can be easily downsized or displaced by a fickle labor market. A higher federal minimum wage and increased unionization can contribute to the creation of well paying jobs. So can economic strategies that help smaller metropolitan areas support new businesses. These efforts, however, must function in tandem with policies that prepare workers for available positions, such as improving general educational attainment and providing career education.

    Where Are All the Good Jobs Going? makes clear that future policies will need to address not only how to produce good jobs but how to produce good workers. This cohesive study takes the necessary first steps with a sensible approach to the needs of workers and the firms that hire them. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blank, Rebecca M.; Danziger, Sheldon H.; Schoeni, Robert F.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2006

    Over the last three decades, large-scale economic developments, such as technological change, the decline in unionization, and changing skill requirements, have exacted their biggest toll on low-wage workers. These workers often possess few marketable skills and few resources with which to support themselves during periods of economic transition. In Working and Poor, a distinguished group of economists and policy experts, headlined by editors Rebecca Blank, Sheldon Danziger, and Robert Schoeni, examine how economic and policy changes over the last twenty-five years have affected the well-being of low-wage workers and their families.

    Working and Poor examines every facet of the economic well-being of less-skilled workers, from employment and earnings opportunities to consumption behavior and social assistance policies. Rebecca Blank and Heidi Schierholz document the different trends in work and wages among less-skilled women and men. Between 1979 and 2003, labor force participation rose rapidly for these women, along with more modest increases in wages, while among the...

    Over the last three decades, large-scale economic developments, such as technological change, the decline in unionization, and changing skill requirements, have exacted their biggest toll on low-wage workers. These workers often possess few marketable skills and few resources with which to support themselves during periods of economic transition. In Working and Poor, a distinguished group of economists and policy experts, headlined by editors Rebecca Blank, Sheldon Danziger, and Robert Schoeni, examine how economic and policy changes over the last twenty-five years have affected the well-being of low-wage workers and their families.

    Working and Poor examines every facet of the economic well-being of less-skilled workers, from employment and earnings opportunities to consumption behavior and social assistance policies. Rebecca Blank and Heidi Schierholz document the different trends in work and wages among less-skilled women and men. Between 1979 and 2003, labor force participation rose rapidly for these women, along with more modest increases in wages, while among the men both employment and wages fell. David Card and John DiNardo review the evidence on how technological changes have affected less-skilled workers and conclude that the effect has been smaller than many observers claim. Philip Levine examines the effectiveness of the Unemployment Insurance program during recessions. He finds that the program’s eligibility rules, which deny benefits to workers who have not met minimum earnings requirements, exclude the very people who require help most and should be adjusted to provide for those with the highest need. On the other hand, Therese J. McGuire and David F. Merriman show that government help remains a valuable source of support during economic downturns. They find that during the most recent recession in 2001, when state budgets were stretched thin, legislatures resisted political pressure to cut spending for the poor.

    Working and Poor provides a valuable analysis of the role that public policy changes can play in improving the plight of the working poor. A comprehensive analysis of trends over the last twenty-five years, this book provides an invaluable reference for the public discussion of work and poverty in America. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

    INTRODUCTION

    Work and Poverty During the Past Quarter-Century Rebecca M. Blank, Sheldon H. Danziger, and Robert F. Schoeni

    PART I WHAT IS CHANGING IN THE LABOR MARKET FOR LOW-SKILLED WORKERS, AND WHY?

    Chapter 1 Exploring Gender Differences in Employment and Wage Trends among Less-skilled Workers Rebecca M. Blank and Heidi Shierholz
    Chapter 2 Wage Trends among Disadvantaged Minorities George J. Borjas

    PART II HOW DO ECONOMIC TRENDS AFFECT LESS-SKILLED WORKERS?
    Chapter 3 The Macroeconomy and Determinants of the Earnings of Less-skilled Workers Robert E. Hall
    Chapter 4 The Impact of Technological Change on Low-wage Workers: A Review David Card and John DiNardo
    Chapter 5 The Changing Pattern of Wage Growth for Low-skilled Workers Eric French, Bhashkar Mazumder, and Christopher Taber

    PART III HOW DO MACROECONOMIC CHANGES INFLUENCE WELL-BEING MEASURES BEYOND INCOME?
    Chapter 6 The Level and Composition of Consumption over the Business Cycle: The Role of "Quasi-Fixed" Expenditures Kerwin Kofi Charles and Melvin Stephens Jr.
    Chapter 7 Recent Trends in Resource Sharing among the Poor Steven J. Haider and Kathleen McGarry
    Chapter 8 Economic Conditions and Children's Living Arrangements Rebecca A. London and Robert W. Fairlie

    PART IV HOW DO POLICY CHANGES INTERACT WITH THE ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING?
    Chapter 9 How do Tax Policies Affect Low-income Workers? Kevin A. Hassett and Anne Moore
    Chapter 10 State Spending on Social Assistance Programs over the Business Cycle Therese J. McGuire and David F. Merriman
    Chapter 11 Temporary Agency Employment: A Way Out of Poverty? David Autor and Susan Houseman
    Chapter 12 Child Support and the Economy Maria Cancian and Daniel R. Meyer
    Chapter 13 Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle: Does it Meet the Needs of Less-skilled Workers? Phillip B. Levine
    Chapter 14 How is Health Insurance Affected by the Economy? Public and Private Coverage among Low-skilled Adults in the 1990s Helen Levy

  • Individual Author: Caputo, Richard K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    Guided by human capital, socialization, and institutionalization theories, this study examined mid-life health and economic well-being of General Education Development (GED) certificate recipients. Relying on a study sample (N = 1,927) obtained from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, GED recipients were found to have worse mid-life outcomes than conventional high school graduates on measures of family income and depression and to have better mid-life outcomes than high school dropouts on measures of assets, family income, depression, and self-reported physical illnesses. Findings suggested that GED recipients should not be unnecessarily lumped together with high school graduates and that programs and services targeting potential and subsequent GED recipients and high school dropouts to remain in school might not only improve their mid-life labor market and economic outcomes, but also their physical and mental health. (author abstract)

    Guided by human capital, socialization, and institutionalization theories, this study examined mid-life health and economic well-being of General Education Development (GED) certificate recipients. Relying on a study sample (N = 1,927) obtained from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, GED recipients were found to have worse mid-life outcomes than conventional high school graduates on measures of family income and depression and to have better mid-life outcomes than high school dropouts on measures of assets, family income, depression, and self-reported physical illnesses. Findings suggested that GED recipients should not be unnecessarily lumped together with high school graduates and that programs and services targeting potential and subsequent GED recipients and high school dropouts to remain in school might not only improve their mid-life labor market and economic outcomes, but also their physical and mental health. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Beattie, Irenee R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Life course scholarship considers how institutional contexts, such as schools, influence adolescent development. Likewise, educational scholars examine how high school experiences influence nonacademic life course outcomes. This study connects these disparate research areas to determine how high school curricular tracks relate to racial/ethnic differences in welfare dynamics. Using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979) data, the author finds that college preparatory coursework provides greater benefits to White women than to Black and Latina women in helping them avoid early welfare receipt. This benefit accrues largely through lowering their chances of dropping out of high school. Theoretical implications and relevance to the current policy environment are discussed. (Author abstract)

    Life course scholarship considers how institutional contexts, such as schools, influence adolescent development. Likewise, educational scholars examine how high school experiences influence nonacademic life course outcomes. This study connects these disparate research areas to determine how high school curricular tracks relate to racial/ethnic differences in welfare dynamics. Using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979) data, the author finds that college preparatory coursework provides greater benefits to White women than to Black and Latina women in helping them avoid early welfare receipt. This benefit accrues largely through lowering their chances of dropping out of high school. Theoretical implications and relevance to the current policy environment are discussed. (Author abstract)

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