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The Urban Institute has tracked job trends for four decades, following unskilled workers during the 1990s boom, welfare leavers taking jobs, and, more recently, older workers during the recession. Our experts study workforce development, disability and employment, and the low-skill labor market. Read more.

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Can California Teacher Pensions Be Distributed More Fairly? (Research Report)
Richard W. Johnson, Benjamin G. Southgate

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System has been grossly underfunded for the past decade. State policymakers have responded by cutting plan benefits for new hires and raising teachers’ required plan contributions. These changes, however, have undermined teachers’ retirement income security. Only 35 percent of new hires will receive pensions worth more than the value of their required plan contributions. Most new hires would have better financial outcomes if they could opt out of the mandatory retirement plan and invest their contributions elsewhere. Additional plan reforms should focus on changing the benefit formula to distribute pensions more equitably across the workforce.

Posted to Web: December 05, 2014Publication Date: December 05, 2014

Literature Review in Brief: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the Affordable Care Act (Research Brief)
Randall R. Bovbjerg, Shayne Spaulding

This brief highlights key points from the report Literature Review: Healthcare Occupational Training and Support Programs under the ACA—Background and Implications for Evaluating HPOG regarding the structure of and employment trends in the healthcare industry, implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for entry-level employment in healthcare, and resulting challenges and opportunities for training and support programs. The brief was developed as part of the HPOG Implementation, Systems and Outcome Project, which is being led by Abt Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute.

Posted to Web: November 20, 2014Publication Date: November 20, 2014

Monitoring the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Employers: Literature Review (Research Report)
Fredric Blavin, Bowen Garrett, Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, Sarah Gadsden, Shanna Rifkin

In this report, we analyze recent trends in the employer health insurance market and the anticipated effects of the Affordable Care Act on employers, with a particular focus on small firms with fewer than 50 workers. We first present a detailed picture of the employer market by identifying preexisting trends in key outcomes that could be incorrectly attributed to the Affordable Care Act. We also analyze the literature to identify economic factors that are important in current employer and employee decisions regarding health coverage.

Posted to Web: October 23, 2014Publication Date: October 23, 2014

Child Care Assistance for Parents in Education and Training: Executive Summary (Research Brief)
Gina Adams, Caroline Heller, Shayne Spaulding, Teresa Derrick-Mills

New economic realities have focused attention on how to best design workforce development strategies to help low-wage and low-skill workers succeed. Lack of child care is one important barrier that can make it difficult for low-income parents to successfully participate in workforce development programs that help people find jobs, job readiness activities, and supportive services. This brief focuses on one element of this barrier: the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), the federal and state child care assistance program. It examines CCDF eligibility policies and services for parents who need child care to participate in education and training activities.

Posted to Web: October 09, 2014Publication Date: October 09, 2014

Balancing School, Work, and Family: Low-Income Parents' Participation in Education and Training (Research Report)
Lauren Eyster, Thomas Callan, Gina Adams

A key policy concern is how to best help low-income individuals gain the skills and credentials they need to find a well-paying job. However, low-income parents in particular may face certain barriers, such as access to reliable child care. This brief uses nationally-representative data to examine the education and training participation of low-income parents and understand their personal and family characteristics, both for those who do and do not engage in education and training. The brief discusses implications for workforce development and child care policy and programs to better support these parents as they balance school, work and family responsibilities.

Posted to Web: October 08, 2014Publication Date: October 08, 2014

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