Archive for the 'Human Capital, Labor & Wealth' Category

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SNAP’s Role in the Great Recession and Beyond

By: Sheila R. Zedlewski, Elaine Waxman, and Craig Gundersen
Source: Urban Institute

Abstract:

During the Great Recession, millions of Americans turned to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, to help pay for food. This brief summarizes a roundtable discussion among experts, advocates and government officials focused on SNAP’s role during the recession and beyond, including its impact on poverty, food insecurity and health. Experts concluded that SNAP does more than combat hunger – it is an antipoverty program, a work support, a promoter of health and nutrition, and an automatic stabilizer in recessions.

Full document (PDF)

Employment Characteristics of Families, 2011

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

From the Summary:

In 2011, 11.5 percent of families included an unemployed person, falling from a peak of 12.4 percent in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation’s 78.4 million families, 79.8 percent had at least one employed member in 2011.

These data on employment, unemployment, and family relationships are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households. Families are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present. For further information about the CPS, see the Technical Note.

Table of Contents
Full text (PDF)

An Overview of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Source: Congressional Budget Office

From the Director’s Blog:

In fiscal year 2011, federal expenditures for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps)—$78 billion—and participation in the program were the highest they have ever been. In an average month that year, about one in seven U.S. residents received SNAP benefits.

In a report issued today, CBO describes the program, its beneficiaries, recent trends in participation and spending, and some possible approaches to changing how it operates. To provide a handy summary of some of the most pertinent information about SNAP, CBO also published an infographic on SNAP.

Report (PDF)
Infographic (PDF)

Global Monitoring Report 2012: Food Prices, Nutrition, and the Millennium Development Goals

Source: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

From Press Release:

The developing world’s progress is seriously lagging on global targets related to food and nutrition, with rates of child and maternal mortality still unacceptably high, says the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2012, released today by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Recent spikes in international food prices have stalled progress across several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the report says.

GMR 2012: Food Prices, Nutrition and the Millennium Development Goals reports good progress across some MDGs, with targets related to reducing extreme poverty and providing access to safe drinking water already achieved, several years ahead of the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs. Also, targets on education and ratio of girls to boys in schools are within reach.

In contrast, the world is significantly off-track on the MDGs to reduce mortality rates of children under five and mothers. As a result, these goals will not be met in any developing region by 2015. Progress is slowest on maternal mortality, with only one-third of the targeted reduction achieved thus far. Progress on reducing infant and child mortality is similarly dismal, with only 50 per cent of the targeted decline achieved.

Full report (PDF)
Overview (PDF)
See publication website for related materials

Food Insufficiency and Income Volatility in U.S. Households

The Effects of Imputed Earnings in the Survey of Income and Program Participation
By: Molly Dahl, Thomas DeLeire, and Shannon Mok
Source: Congressional Budget Office

Abstract:

This paper explores how the use of imputed earnings data to measure income in the Survey of Income and Program Participation affects the observed relationship between household income volatility and food insufficiency. The study finds that the inclusion of imputed earnings data when measuring income volatility substantially understates the association between large drops in household income and food insufficiency. After excluding observations with imputed earnings, large drops in income are associated with a 1.3 percentage point increase in the probability of food insufficiency, although the estimate is not statistically significant at conventional levels.

Full text (PDF)

The Retirement Prospects of Divorced Women

By: Barbara Butrica & Karen E. Smith
Source: The Urban Institute

Abstract:

Older divorced women are more likely to be poor than other older women, and historical divorce and remarriage trends suggest that in the future a larger share of retired women will be divorced. This article uses the MINT model to project the retirement resources and well-being of divorced women. We find that Social Security benefits and retirement incomes are projected to increase for divorced women and that their poverty rates are projected to decline, due to women’s increasing lifetime earnings. However, not all divorced women will be equally well off; economic well-being in retirement varies by Social Security benefit type.

Full report (PDF)

The Impact of Mental Health Treatment on Low-Income Mothers’ Work

By: Pamela J. Loprest and Austin Nichols
Source: Urban Institute

Abstract:

This study analyzes the impact of mental health problems and mental health treatment on low-income mothers’ employment, using the 2002 National Survey of America’s Families. We find that all mothers, low-income mothers, and low-income single mothers in very poor mental health are significantly less likely to work. Instrumental variables regressions show that mothers receiving mental health treatment are significantly more likely to work. These findings suggest that mental health problems are an important barrier to work among low-income women and that access to treatment for these problems can substantially improve the probability of work for this group.

Full text (PDF)

Young, Underemployed and Optimistic

Coming of Age, Slowly, in a Tough Economy
Source: Pew Research Center, Social & Demographic Trends

From the Executive Summary:

This report is based on findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted Dec. 6-19, 2011, among 2,048 adults nationwide, including 808 young adults (ages 18 to 34). The report also draws on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here is a summary of the key findings:

  • Young adults hit hard by the recession.
  • Public says today’s young adults have it harder than their parents did.
  • Tough economic times altering young adults’ daily lives, long-term plans.
  • Adulthood begins later than it used to.
  • For young adults, bad times don’t trump optimism.
  • Older adults have maintained their standard of living.
  • Among the employed, job satisfaction has remained steady.
  • But young workers feel more vulnerable than they used to.
  • Few young workers see their current job as a “career.”
  • Most young workers say they don’t have the education and training to get ahead.
  • College enrollment rates are tied to employment declines among the young.

Full report (PDF)

School Enrollment in the United States: 2010

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Press Release:

These national statistics describe a wide variety of student characteristics at all levels of school, from nursery to graduate. The tables provide information by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, family income, type of college, employment status and vocational course enrollment. The statistics are produced from the October School Enrollment Supplement to the Current Population Survey; historical tables are provided.

Detailed tables (HTML)

Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality

A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality
C. Stone, H. Shaw, D. Trisi and A. Sherman | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
November 28, 2011

This resource is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It provides information on the (a) commonly used sources and statistics, including a discussion of relatives strengths and limitations; (b) an overview of the trends over the last ~60 years; (c) an overview of how the most well-off Americans and doing; (d) an overview of how the least well-off Americans are doing.

[Link to PDF version]