Impact of Trade-Related Job Losses on Women Workers

Posted on September 1st, 2009 — in Children and Families :: Economy and Business :: Employment

Over the past several decades, international trade and increased foreign competition has led to widespread job losses in American manufacturing. The general perception is that these losses have primarily affected jobs and industries that are traditionally male, such as auto manufacturing. Researchers from Dēmos, however, point out that women workers in the US have been significantly impacted by trade-related job losses. Female-intensive industries, such as textiles and apparel, have faced the highest levels of import competition over the past decade and, as a result, have had high levels of job displacement. The situation is compounded by the finding that many manufacturing jobs pay much better than other jobs available to non-college-educated women workers, so laid-off women are likely to find their earning power lowered, perhaps permanently.
Given these conditions, the authors argue for a governmental policy that emphasizes training, professionalizing the jobs that are likely to stay within the country, and a commitment to supporting families during periods of job transition.

Welfare and Work Participation

Posted on May 4th, 2009 — in Children and Families :: Employment :: Social Policy

Federal welfare funding in California is dependent on a percentage of adult welfare recipients being employed at least part-time or engaged in “work-related activities.” A work participation rate under 50% can result in a loss of federal funding. Recent statistics indicate California falls far short of that rate. In this report, PPIC examines the potential effects of proposed policy changes (increasing the severity of sanction and time-limit policies) to improve this rate.

Impact of Budget Cuts on Local Communities

Posted on February 27th, 2009 — in Children and Families :: Education :: Social Policy :: State Budget

The California Budget Project has issued a series of reports analyzing the impact of the Governor’s budget on local communities. These new analyses include county-by-county breakdowns showing the impact to schools and programs, including CalWORKs, IHSS, and SSI/SSP.

Health of Children and Migrants

Posted on November 17th, 2008 — in Children and Families :: Health Care :: Immigration

Several new reports mine data from the California Health Interview Survey and other sources to provide a perspective on the health of California’s children. The bottom line: children in California are not as healthy as they could be. In particular, low-income and Latino children face multiple obstacles and consequently bear a disproportionate burden of health problems. According to a related report, Mexican-origin children and youth have less access to public health programs in comparison with immigrants from other regions and the white U.S.-born population.

California’s Children Have Major Health, Educational Problems

Posted on January 3rd, 2008 — in Children and Families :: Social Policy

The State of the State’s Children [Children Now]

According to a new report from the advocacy group Children Now, California’s children score from mediocre to poor on ranges of issues from health to education. The report points out that 763,000 children in the state are still uninsured (placing California 43rd out of the 50 states on the percentage of insured children 17 and under), roughly the same number as in 2003, despite the intense attention that has been focused on the issue of lack of insurance in the media and in policy debates.

In other findings, the report indicates that 21% of Californian children do not have dental insurance; 16% have asthma (with the asthma rate at 20% in the Central Valley); 33% of Californian children are obese; and only 65% of Californian children graduate on time with a regular high school diploma.

State Minimum Wage Will Rise on January 1

Posted on December 31st, 2007 — in Children and Families :: Economy and Business :: Social Policy

A California Budget Project policy paper notes that the state minimum wage will rise to $8.00 per hour tomorrow (New Year’s Day). The increase is the second stage of a two-step increase in the minimum wage that began with a rise from $6.75 per hour to $7.50 per hour in January 2007. The two-step increase will benefit nearly 1.4 million Californian workers who made less than $8.00 per hour in 2006. The CBP paper adds, however, that although the increase is an “important boost,” the minimum wage still “falls short of providing sufficient income to lift low-income families out of poverty.”

New Report Details the High Cost of Living in California

Posted on October 24th, 2007 — in Children and Families :: Economy and Business :: State of the State

A recent policy document that got a lot of media attention was a California Budget project report about the cost of living in California. According to the report, on average, in order to make ends meet in California:

The report goes into much more granular detail about the breakdown of the cost of living in California, including median household income compared to median home prices and the costs of housing and utilities, child care, transportation, food, health care coverage, and more.

California Public Education Spending Lags Behind Rest of Nation

Posted on October 9th, 2007 — in Children and Families :: Education

California’s public school spending lags behind that of most of the rest of the nation. According to a California Budget Project fact sheet, California ranks 34th in K-12 spending per student, 34th in educational spending as a percentage of personal income, and 48th in the nation in student-per-teacher ratios.

The CBP report notes that California was either equal to or ahead of most of the rest of the country in these measures until beginning in roughly 1981-1982, which coincides with the point in time when Proposition 13 property tax revenue reductions caused a shift in financing from local to state revenues (a shift that was also precipitated by a series of court decisions starting in 1976 that held that California’s dependence on local revenues for public school financing discriminated against students in districts with low property tax wealth bases).

As of 2005-2006, the latest period for which figures are available, California’s public schools got 61.4% of their funding from the state, contrasted with 47.7% for the United States as a whole, according to numbers from the National Education Association.

Retail Health Clinics on Rise in California as Health Care Costs Skyrocket

Posted on September 25th, 2007 — in Children and Families :: Health Care

Retail clinics — small walk-in facilities typically based in drugstores and supermarkets, staffed by nurse practitioners, and offering a menu of limited and routine-care health services — are on the rise across the country. There were only 62 retail clinics open nationwide at the start of 2006. There are predicted to be over 1500 open by the end of 2008.

According to a report from the California HealthCare Foundation, retail clinics help fill a health care gap for the uninsured and the underinsured that it otherwise falls almost exclusively to emergency rooms to cover. The report notes that retail clinics offer low-cost services to people without health insuarnce and provide substantial savings. For instance, diagnosis of strep throat or a urinary tract infection at a retail clinic could represent a savings of $240 or more over an emergency room visit. One big obstacle in the way of retail clinic success is finding money to stay open long enough to turn a profit. Wellness Express, a Sacramento-based firm which got a substantial amount of news media attention when it started opening clinics in 2005 and 2006, had to shut down in November 2006 because of a lack of funds.

According to the report, most retail care clinics are currently in the Midwest, East Coast, and South, with only about 20 retail clinics open statewide in California at present. But that number is expected to rise.

Californians Want Health Care Reform but Are Skeptical That It’ll Get Done

Posted on September 6th, 2007 — in Children and Families :: Health Care :: Polls and Surveys

A recent Field Poll shows that 69% of the state’s registered voters are dissastisfied with the current state of the health care system in California, but 58% believe that it is either “not too likely” or “not at all likely” that the governor and the legislature will be able to enact any health care reforms this year.

In addition, 36% of registered voters now favor the idea of a governwent-run health care system that covers everyone, up from a total of 24% who favored the same approach when the question was last asked in December 2006.