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A report covering plan design and legislative changes Volume 51, Number 10
Number Of Americans Lacking Health Insurance Down In 2007
Median income rose slightly, the number of Americans without health insurance coverage declined, and the poverty rate was roughly unchanged in 2007, according to an annual report released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Employers And Employees Face Challenges In Current Market
According to two parallel surveys of employees and employers conducted by staffing firm Robert Half International and recruitment website CareerBuilder.com, both workers and the companies that employ them are struggling to keep up in uncertain economic conditions. Employees are worried about finding good jobs,and managers are concerned about hiring qualified people.
The annual surveys of 500 hiring managers and more than 500 full-time rank-and-file workers showed that, while employees rated the difficulty of finding a job at 3.56 on a five-point scale, managers rated the challenge of finding highly skilled job candidates at 3.47.
Workers Support Paid Sick Days
Most American workers see paid sick days as a basic right of employment that should be supported by government policies, according to a survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and funded by the Public Welfare Foundation.
Researchers noted, however, that more than 40% of private sector workers and three-quarters of low-wage workers in the United States do not have paid sick days. Currently, the report’s authors observed, San Francisco and Washington,D.C. are the only jurisdictions in the country that mandate paid sick leave, though legislation is pending in Congress that would require employers with 15 or more workers to provide seven paid sick days annually to employees.
Higher Gas Prices Have Little Impact On Commuting Habits
Most employees are reacting to higher energy prices by cutting back on consumption and discretionary driving, but relatively few have altered their commutes to and from work to save money on gas, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the Workforce Institute of human resources software provider Kronos Incorporated indicated.
Yet, when asked if they had made any other changes in reaction to the rise in the cost of gas, 69% reported cutting back on unnecessary spending, 59% said they drive less, 57% said they go out to eat less often, and 30% said they have postponed a vacation because of the downturn in the economy. Of those respondents who indicated they have taken less vacation time this year than in the past, 65% said it is because they do not have enough money to take a vacation.
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