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Shifting Ground: Changes in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance. A compilation report prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, University of Minnesota, using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component and by The Urban Institute using data from the National Health Interview Survey. View the Report

Attitudes of Business Leaders Regarding Health Care Coverage. Key Findings from a Survey of Small, Medium and Large Businesses; Conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, Alexandria, VA (September 2005) View the Report

2004 Chartbook of Major Indicators: Conditions Placing Children in the South At Risk. The 2004 SBLC meeting was the venue for release of the Southern Institute's third edition of the Chartbook of Major Indicators: Conditions Placing Children in the South at Risk. During a press conference in which SBLC members participated, data from the 2004 Chartbook of Major Indicators were presented to illustrate the condition of child and family well-being in the South based on five key categories: economic status, child care, child abuse and neglect, education, health coverage and health care. Information on programs that are addressing the needs of children and families also is presented in the publication. The 2004 Chartbook of Major Indicators includes state-by-state information for the South and data for states outside the southern region. Click here to access the 2004 Chartbook of Major Indicators.

A Profile of the Southern Economy: Living Standards, Economic Structure, and Lower Income Workers was prepared for the Southern Institute on Children and Families by the Division of Research at the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business. Broad economic indicators generally portray the Southern economy as vibrant and fast growing. According to measures such as employment growth, personal income growth, and unemployment rates, the Southern region does perform very well. Yet, these broad economic indicators do not tell the whole story. Behind this record of rapid economic growth lies other statistics that portray the South as being last in the nation in terms of many different measures of living standards.

The purpose of the executive summary is to synthesize many different types of data to uncover what the statistics have to say about the Southern economy. The emphasis is on exploring the underlying factors explaining the South’s lower level of living standards, developing a profile of lower income workers in the South, and considering long-term structural changes in the economy that will affect the future for the Southern economy and its lower income population.

The goal of the full report is to represent one distillation of the available data for the purpose of providing a profile of an economy that has made gains, but in which a large portion of the population continues to face obstacles in improving material well-being.

Economic Development Strategies to Promote Quality Child Care is a report which is part of the larger Cornell University Linking Economic Development and Child Care Research Project supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Child Care Bureau research funds and by the US Department of Agriculture Hatch Research Program administered by Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station. The intent of this document is two fold: 1) to educate the child care community in the core concepts of economic development, and 2) to assist the economic development community to see the connections between their work and the child care sector. Please click here to access a PDF version of this report.

Child Care and Parent Productivity: Making the Business Case is a paper written as part of the Linking Economic Development and Child Care Research Project of Cornell University outlining that continuous and comprehensive measurement of human capital initiatives in organizations is an essential practice of resilient and financially successful organizations. It presents current research, as well as a comprehensive “5 Step Plan” with example calculations to help those interested in collecting data on the effectiveness of work/life initiatives. Please click here to access a PDF version of this paper.

Study Finds Health Care Costs Account for a Quarter of U.S. Economic Growth. Health care spending consumes about one-quarter of the growth in the U.S. economy, according to a study from the Boston University School of Public Health's Health Reform Program. Health care spending will increase to $1.9 trillion this year, up $621 billion from 2000. The increase in health care spending over the past five years accounts for about 24 percent of the expected increase in the nation's gross domestic product during the same period. The primary sources of "unnecessary spending" include administrative costs, insurance industry profits, and high prescription drug and health services costs.

The report also found that U.S. health spending per person is twice the average spending in Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Great Britain, all of which guarantee coverage for their citizens. "Current U.S. spending should be adequate to cover all Americans," according to the report, which used data collected by the government and other researchers. Please click here to access a PDF version of the report.

Job-Based Health Insurance in the Balance: Employer Views of Coverage in the Workplace. Historically, employers have been the primary source of health insurance coverage for working-age Americans and their dependents. Yet according to a recent survey of 453 employers, the job-based health system is under stress. The Commonwealth Fund Supplement to the 2003 National Organizations Study (NOS) finds that double-digit increases in health insurance premiums led employers to shift more of their health care costs to employees in 2002–03. But the survey also finds that most employers who offer health insurance see it as a core part of their compensation packages—a benefit that improves morale and productivity and makes it easier to recruit and retain employees. Employers voice strong support for many recent health reform proposals made by federal and state policy leaders to expand insurance coverage, including proposals that would require them to make financial commitments. Please click here to access a PDF version of the report.

Struggling to Make Ends Meet: Low-Wage Work in America is a study released in September by Corporate Voices for Working Families, a non-partisan, non-profit corporate membership organization created to bring the private sector voice into the public dialogue on issues affecting working families. Findings from the report indicate there is a widespread concern over the worsening problem of low-wage work, and that the general voting public and low-wage workers believe it is critical that corporations and government work to improve the low-wage crisis – particularly focusing on creating jobs that can support families and for employers to provide better benefits and job skills training. To access the executive summary of the report, click here and you will be taken to the Corporate Voices for Working Families Web site.

Banking the Poor: Policies to Bring Low-Income Americans Into the Financial Mainstream is a paper prepared for the Brookings Institution, which calls for the transformation of financial services for the poor. Better access to financial services is critical for low-income persons seeking to enter the economic mainstream. Click here to download a PDF version of this paper.

Making Ends Meet: Six Programs That Help Working Families and Employers was developed in 2002 by the Center for Law and Social Policy as a guide for business leaders and policymakers. The report provides general back-ground on six work support programs: the Earned Income Tax Credit, child care, Food Stamps, health care, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and child support. For each work support, the report offers a brief overview description of the program, information about how it helps promote family financial security and employment retention and evidence about barriers to participation among eligible workers. Click here to download a PDF version of this paper.

Unrealized Gains: How Workforce Organizations Can Put Money in the Pockets of Low-Wage Workers: Social policy continues to emphasize the importance of work, but many working families struggle to make ends meet. Work supports can be a critical factor in enabling people to make a successful transition to employment. Packed with tools and resources, Unrealized Gains will help practitioners make use of work supports: laying the groundwork with a financial literacy curriculum, creating income packages, promoting access to work supports through advocacy and keeping graduates on track with a variety of retention strategies. Readers will come away with a concrete plan for addressing their participants’ economic security. You may order a copy of the publication from Public/Private Ventures for $10.00 or download A PDF version free from their Web site by clicking here.

 

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