Research News Roundup – May 2018

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

Single Moms in College Spend 9 Hours a Day on Housework

By Adam Harris |  | 5.11.2018

Every year around this time—when commencement season and Mother’s Day collide—moms across the country are praised for their grit and resolve. It’s a tough job for just about anyone. But for 2.1 million single mothers, according to the latest federal data, the normal difficulties are compounded by the stresses of going to college. For these moms, there may not be enough hours in the day to do all the tasks they have to do at home while still going to college. A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a think tank and advocacy group for advancing women’s status, breaks down the data on the amount of time single mothers in college are spending on their obligations outside of the classroom compared with women students without children. The analysis, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, is instructive—and eye-opening.

Citing: Time Demands of Single Mother College Students and the Role of Child Care in their Postsecondary Success by Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, Barbara Gault, and Joo Yeoun Suh at Institute for Women’s Policy Research and Mary Ann DeMario of Monroe Community College, May 2018

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Women earn more than men in these two (yes, two) industries

By Quentin Fottrell |  | 4.10.2018

The good news on Equal Pay Day: In a country where women earn 82 cents on the dollar compared to men, some women do actually out-earn their male peers. The bad news: It only happens in two industries. There are only two occupations where women’s median earnings are slightly higher than men’s, while there are 107 occupations in which women’s median earnings were 95% or less than men’s for the same jobs. Women working as “dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers” and “wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products” slightly out-earned men. Overall, women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations. That’s according to new research released this week by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a nonprofit think tank. Last year, the median gender pay gap was 81.8%, reflecting median weekly earnings of $770 for all female full-time workers and $941 per week for men.

Citing: The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2017 and by Race and Ethnicity by Ariane Hegewisch and Emma Williams-Baron at Institute for Women’s Policy Research, April 2018

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Cory Booker’s new big idea: guaranteeing jobs for everyone who wants one

By Dylan Matthew |  | 4.20.2018

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has a big idea: give 15 local areas federal money so they can guarantee all their residents a job. The Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, announced by Booker on Friday, would establish a three-year pilot program in which the Department of Labor would select up to 15 local areas (defined in the bill as any political subdivision of a state, like a city or a county, or a group of cities and counties) and offer that area funding so that every adult living there is guaranteed a job paying at least $15 an hour (or the prevailing wage for the job in question, whichever’s higher) and offering paid family/sick leave and health benefits.

Citing: The Federal Job Guarantee—A Policy to Achieve Permanent Full Employment by Mark Paul, William Darity, Jr., and Darrick Hamilton at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 2018

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In 83 Million Eviction Records, a Sweeping and Intimate New Look at Housing in America

By Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui |  | 4.7.2018

Before the first hearings on the morning docket, the line starts to clog the lobby of the John Marshall Courthouse. No cellphones are allowed inside, but many of the people who’ve been summoned don’t learn that until they arrive. “Put it in your car,” the sheriff’s deputies suggest at the metal detector. That advice is no help to renters who have come by bus. To make it inside, some tuck their phones in the bushes nearby. This courthouse handles every eviction in Richmond, a city with one of the highest eviction rates in the country, according to new data covering dozens of states and compiled by a team led by the Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond. Two years ago, Mr. Desmond turned eviction into a national topic of conversation with “Evicted,” a book that chronicled how poor families who lost their homes in Milwaukee sank ever deeper into poverty.

Citing: The Eviction Lab database by Matthew Desmond

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The hidden crisis on college campuses: Many students don’t have enough to eat

By Caitlin Dewey |  | 4.3.2018

Caleb Torres lost seven pounds his freshman year of college — and not because he didn’t like the food in the dining hall. A first-generation college student, barely covering tuition, Torres ran out of grocery money halfway through the year and began skipping meals as a result. He’d stretch a can of SpaghettiOs over an entire day. Or he’d scout George Washington University campus for events that promised free lunch or snacks. Torres told no one what he was going through, least of all his single mom. “She had enough things to worry about,” he said. Now a senior and living off-campus, in a housing situation that supplies most of his meals,Torres is finally talking about his experience with the hunger problem on America’s college campuses: a quiet, insidious epidemic that researchers say threatens millions of students every year.

Citing: Still Hungry and Homeless in College by Sara Goldrick-Rab, Jeb Richardson, Joel Schneider, Anthony Hernandez, and Clare Cady at Wisconsin Hope Lab, April 2018

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104 Countries Block Women From Certain Jobs (and Other Legal Barriers)

By Josh Zumbrun |  | 3.29.2018

In more than half the world’s economies, policy makers have yet to take an obvious step to close the difference between men’s and women’s earnings: allowing women to work the same jobs as men. “I don’t understand why, in 2018, there’s 104 countries that have job restrictions on women,” said Sarah Iqbal, the program manager for the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law project, which produces an annual report on the legal environment for women in 189 economies. In 18 economies husbands can legally prevent their wives from working at all. And in many nations, women are barred from taking jobs in many high-wage sectors, including manufacturing, contributing to very different economic outcomes for men and women.

Citing: Women, Business and the Law 2018 at The World Bank Group, April 2018

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Paying for Parental Leave with Future Social Security Benefits

By Melissa M. Favreault and Richard W. Johnson | Urban Institute | April 2018

A recent proposal would allow new parents to trade future Social Security benefits for a few months of paid leave. Projections from the Dynamic Simulation of Income Model (DYNASIM) show that providing a progressive, 12-week leave benefit averaging about half pay without raising taxes would require raising the Social Security full retirement age for leave program participants about 25 weeks. This increase would permanently reduce participants’ monthly Social Security retirement benefits about 3 percent. The proposed program would raise Social Security’s annual costs, net of benefit offsets, about 1 percent, worsening the program’s financing shortfall.

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Low-Income Working Families: Rising Inequality Despite Economic Recovery

By Beth Jarosz and Mark Mather | The Working Poor Families Project | April 2018

While the U.S. economy has shown signs of recovery since the Great Recession, inequality among America’s 33 million working families has increased. The unemployment rate has fallen from a post-recession high of 9.6 percent in 2010 to 4.4 percent in 2017—the lowest level since 2000. However, gains at the lower end of the income spectrum have been slower than those at the top. The number of working families with income below 200 percent of the poverty level—termed low-income—fell slightly between 2015 and 2016 (from 10.3 million to 9.9 million). But despite recent improvements, there are more low-income working families today than there were at the onset of the recession in 2007 (9.5 million). Today, three in 10 working families in the United States may not have enough money to meet basic needs.

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The Changing Profile of Unmarried Parents

By Gretchen Livingston | Pew Research Center | April 2018

One-in-four parents living with a child in the United States today are unmarried. Driven by declines in marriage overall, as well as increases in births outside of marriage, this marks a dramatic change from a half-century ago, when fewer than one-in-ten parents living with their children were unmarried (7%). At the same time, the profile of unmarried parents has shifted markedly, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. Solo mothers – those who are raising at least one child with no spouse or partner in the home – no longer dominate the ranks of unmarried parents as they once did. In 1968, 88% of unmarried parents fell into this category. By 1997 that share had dropped to 68%, and in 2017 the share of unmarried parents who were solo mothers declined to 53%. These declines in solo mothers have been entirely offset by increases in cohabiting parents: Now 35% of all unmarried parents are living with a partner. Meanwhile, the share of unmarried parents who are solo fathers has held steady at 12%.

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The State of the Gender Pay Gap in 2018

PayScale | April 2018

In the last couple of years, workers and legislators have taken some big steps to push organizations to rectify the gender pay gap. For example, salary history bans have expanded across the U.S., with the goal of making sure organizations do not perpetuate the gender pay gap. The UK passed a law in 2017 which forces companies with more than 250 employees in the region to report on pay disparity between their male and female employees. In France, companies with more than 50 employees are now required to install software directly connected to their payroll systems to monitor unjustified pay gap; if a company fails to erase a pay gap detected by the software over three years, they could face a penalty. In the U.S., female employees from Google sued their previous employer for gender-based pay disparity. More recently, Starbucks claims it has achieved pay equity in the U.S.

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Sexual Harassment at Work in the Era of #MeToo

By Nikki Graf | Pew Research Center | April 2018

Recent allegations against prominent men in entertainment, politics, the media and other industries have sparked increased attention to the issue of sexual harassment and assault, in turn raising questions about the treatment of the accused and the accusers and what lies ahead for men and women in the workplace. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that, when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, more Americans think men getting away with it and female accusers not being believed are major problems than say the same about employers firing men before finding out all the facts or women making false accusations. And while these attitudes differ somewhat by gender, they vary most dramatically between Democrats and Republicans.

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