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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Social Security: The Cost-of-Living Adjustment in January 2005
This report discusses how the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits are determined. The 2.7% COLA payable in January 2005 was triggered by the rise in the CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) from the third quarter of 2003 to the third quarter of 2004. This COLA triggers identical percentage increases in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans' pensions, and railroad retirement benefits, and causes other changes in the Social Security program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795651/
The Effects on U.S. Farm Workers of an Agricultural Guest Worker Program
This report discusses the debate concerning an agricultural guest worker program and the impact an agricultural guest worker program might have on U.S. workers. Guest worker programs are meant to assure employers (e.g., fruit, vegetable, and horticultural specialty growers) of an adequate supply of labor when and where it is needed while not adding permanent residents to the U.S. population. They include mechanisms, such as the H-2A program's labor certification process, intended to avoid adversely affecting the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795502/
Pay-for-Performance: Linking Employee Pay to Performance Appraisal
This report discusses issues related to measuring performance across the federal government and analyzes a variety of methods utilized by the government to measure employee performance and its linkage to pay. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795601/
The Haitian Economy and the HOPE Act
This report discusses the HOPE Act as it relates to the Haitian economy and U.S. trade policy. In providing preferential access to Haitian apparel imports, the HOPE Act, as amended, gives Haitian firms a competitive (price) advantage over other foreign producers who must pay U.S. duties on apparel exports made from yarns and fabrics supplied by non-regional (e.g., Asian) producers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795842/
The Haitian Economy and the HOPE Act
This report discusses the HOPE Act as it relates to the Haitian economy and U.S. trade policy. In providing preferential access to Haitian apparel imports, the HOPE Act, as amended, gives Haitian firms a competitive (price) advantage over other foreign producers who must pay U.S. duties on apparel exports made from yarns and fabrics supplied by non-regional (e.g., Asian) producers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795409/
Unemployment Benefits: Legislative Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the federal-state unemployment compensation (UC) system, which pays benefits to covered workers who become involuntarily unemployed for economic reasons and meet state-established eligibility rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795462/
The Federal Workforce: Characteristics and Trends
This report discusses the federal workforce, which is also expected by some to reflect the gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of the country as a whole. In addition, understanding recent changes in the overall size and composition of the federal workforce can indicate what changes may lie in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795737/
Temporary Farm Labor: The H-2A Program and the U.S. Department of Labor's Proposed Changes in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)
This report begins with a description of the H-2A program. Next, the report explains how the AEWR is currently determined and how it would be calculated under the proposed regulations. Finally, the report examines some potential effects of the proposed change in the AEWR on the wages and employment of foreign and U.S. workers on U.S. farms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795765/
Federal White-Collar Pay: FY2009 Salary Adjustments
This report discusses the federal white-collar employee pay. The annual pay adjustment is based on the Employment Cost Index (ECI), which measures changes in private-sector wages and salaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795757/
Funding for Workforce Development in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to workforce development programs administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that were included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) under Division A, Title VIII, Department of Labor. It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743444/
Unemployment and Health Insurance: Current Legislation and Issues
This report discusses the link between health insurance coverage and unemployment. One consequence of unemployment is that people can also lose their health insurance. The danger of losing insurance is most obvious for coverage that is provided by employers, but people who become unemployed might no longer be able to pay individual market premiums as well. Recent estimates indicate for each percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, the number of uninsured would increase by 1.1 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743413/
The Employee Free Choice Act
This report discusses legislative attempts to amend the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") to allow for union certification without an election, based on signed employee authorizations. The Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") has been introduced in the past three Congresses to allow union certification based on signed authorizations, provide a process for the bargaining of an initial agreement, and prescribe new penalties for certain unfair labor practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743346/
State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments
This report discusses the constitutional issues raised in relation to state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens, along with the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have on the implementation and enforcement of measures restricting such persons' ability to obtain employment, housing, or other state and local benefits or services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700536/
Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification
This report discusses E-Verify, a program in which participating employers submit information about their new hires (name, date of birth, Social Security number, immigration/citizenship status, and alien number, if applicable) from the I-9 form. This information is automatically compared with information in Social Security Administration and, if necessary, DHS databases to verify identity and employment eligibility. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700588/
Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007
This report discusses various issues that impact the retirement income of Americans. About half of all workers in the United States participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan of some kind, a proportion that has remained relatively stable over the past thirty years. Because the majority of assets held in retirement accounts are invested in stocks, trends in stock prices have a significant impact on households' retirement account balances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700850/
Immigration of Foreign Workers: Labor Market Tests and Protections
This report discusses ยง1611, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which requires companies receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding to comply with the more rigorous labor market rules of H-1B dependent companies if they hire foreign workers on H-1B visas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700841/
Disconnected Youth: A Look at 16- to 24-Year Olds Who Are Not Working or In School
A young person's detachment from both the labor market and school is an indicator that he or she may not be adequately making the transition to adulthood. Referred to as "disconnected" in the social science literature, youth who are not working or in school may have difficulty gaining the skills and knowledge needed to attain self-sufficiency. The purpose of the report is to provide context for Congress about the characteristics of youth who are not working or in school, and the circumstances in which they live. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700799/
Unauthorized Employment in the United States: Issues, Options, and Legislation
As immigration reform and the illegal alien population have gained congressional and public attention in the past several years, the issue of unauthorized employment has come to the fore. It is widely accepted that most unauthorized aliens enter and remain in the United States in order to work. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700614/
Immigration: Policy Considerations Related to Guest Worker Programs
This report discusses guest worker programs. The United States has two main programs for temporarily importing low-skilled workers, or guest workers. Agricultural guest workers enter through the H-2A visa program, and other guest workers enter through the H-2B visa program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700923/
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary
This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700693/
The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act
This report reviews the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act (PSEECA) and discusses the possible impact of the legislation. The report also identifies existing state laws that recognize collective bargaining rights for public safety employees, and considers the constitutional concerns raised by the measure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689185/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as discusses the successes and failures of some recent country and regional anti-trafficking efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689318/
Unauthorized Aliens' Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues
This report focuses on the policy and legislative debate surrounding unauthorized aliens' access to federal benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689196/
Immigration: Policy Considerations Related to Guest Worker Programs
This report discusses guest worker programs. The United States has two main programs for temporarily importing low-skilled workers, or guest workers. Agricultural guest workers enter through the H-2A visa program, and other guest workers enter through the H-2B visa program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689363/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report discusses the issue of trafficking in persons (TIP) in Latin America, giving background information and examining possible policy solutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689451/
Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends
This report begins by describing the change in the age distribution of the U.S. population that will occur between 2010 and 2030 and by summarizing the historical data on the labor force participation of older workers. This discussion is followed by an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) on employment and receipt of pension income among persons aged 55 and older. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689486/
Temporary Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08)
This report discusses the new temporary unemployment benefit, the various tiers of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627183/
Unemployment and Economic Recovery
This report examines the relationship between economic growth and the unemployment rate to anticipate possible future developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626892/
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education: FY2009 Appropriations
This report discusses budget appropriations that is one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, consolidated, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505609/
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is both an international and a domestic crime that involves violations of labor, public health, and human rights standards. This report focuses on human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. The report begins with an overview of human trafficking including a discussion of the definition of human trafficking, the scope of the problem globally, and an examination of the victims. It follows with an analysis of global anti-trafficking efforts by the United States and the international community. The report then focuses on trafficking into and within the United States, examining relief for trafficking victims in the United States and discussing U.S. law enforcement efforts to combat domestic trafficking. The report concludes with an overview of anti-trafficking legislation and an analysis of policy issues related to human trafficking. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501967/
Worker Safety in the Construction Industry: The Crane and Derrick Standard
This report first examines the incidence of fatal and nonfatal on-the-job injuries in the private sector. It next analyzes the causes of fatalities in the construction industry and the involvement of cranes in those deaths. The report then addresses the status of a proposed rule to update the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) crane and derrick standard. It closes with an overview of jurisdictions having safety regulations for cranes more stringent, in whole or part, than the existing federal standard. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463095/
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on human trafficking both internationally and within the United States. The report begins with an overview of human trafficking including a discussion of the definition of human trafficking, the scope of the problem globally, and an examination of the victims. It follows with an analysis of global antitrafficking efforts by the United States and the international community. The report then focuses on trafficking into and within the United States, examining relief for trafficking victims in the United States and discussing U.S. law enforcement efforts to combat domestic trafficking. The report concludes with an overview of antitrafficking legislation in the 110th Congress, and an analysis of policy issues related to human trafficking. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463090/
Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. This report addresses this issue at length, including the arguments for and against the agreement, as well as general U.S.-Colombia economic relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463414/
Leave Benefits in the United States
This report begins by reviewing federal statutes that pertain directly or indirectly to employer provision of leave benefits for any purpose, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. It then examines the incidence of different types of paid leave that U.S. employers voluntarily provide as part of an employee's total compensation (wages and benefits). The report closes with results from a federal government survey of the average direct cost to businesses of different types of leave. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463408/
The Fair Labor Standards Act: Continuing Issues in the Debate
This reports details the history of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It focuses on the administration of the act and the interpretation of provisions, which Congress has left to the discretion of the Secretary of Labor. It also considers judicial decisions, which make up a substantial part of wage/hour issues and have an impact upon enforcement of the statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462592/
The Executive Schedule IV Pay Cap on General Schedule Compensation
This report provides information on the effect of the Executive Schedule (EX-IV) pay cap on pay for General Schedule (GS) employees; and discusses the potential implications of the pay cap on salaries, pensions, and the ability of agencies to recruit and retain staff. The report also provides some background information on the GS and Executive Schedule pay systems and the annual pay adjustment processes in those systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462528/
Proposed Funding for Workforce Development in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to workforce development programs administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that were included in the House and Senate versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available. The estimates are shown in appendix tables that present state-by-state allocations for adult, youth, and dislocated worker programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462727/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation During the Recession
The report examines trends in employment and job loss since the start of the latest recession then focuses on job creation estimates associated with increased spending on infrastructure, placing a heavy emphasis on explaining the limitations with the methodology that is often utilized to develop the estimates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461987/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation Spending During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462993/
Older Workers: Employment and Retirement Trends
This report begins by describing the change in the age distribution of the U.S. population that will occur between 2005 and 2025 and by summarizing the historical data on the labor force participation of older workers. This discussion is followed by an analysis of data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey on employment and receipt of pension income among persons age 55 and older. Employment trends among older workers are then discussed in the context of data from the Social Security Administration on the proportion of workers who claim retired-worker benefits before the full retirement age (65 years and 10 months for people who turn 65 in 2008). The final section of the report discusses "phased retirement," a process that combines reduced hours of work with receipt of pension income. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463173/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462199/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as discusses the successes and failures of some recent country and regional anti-trafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising issues that may be helpful for the 110th Congress to consider during its second session as it continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462997/
Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches
This report discusses the global economy, or what many call globalization, which has a growing impact on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. Increasing integration with the world economy makes the U.S. and other economies more productive. For most Americans, this has translated into absolute increases in living standards and real disposable incomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462424/
Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches
This report discusses the global economy, or what many call globalization, which has a growing impact on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. Increasing integration with the world economy makes the U.S. and other economies more productive. For most Americans, this has translated into absolute increases in living standards and real disposable incomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94109/
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
Over the past few years, the media have been filled with reports about worksite enforcement operations, commonly referred to as immigration raids. These operations represent the public face of efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to curtail the employment of unauthorized immigrants. According to 2006 estimates, there are some 7.8 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. civilian workforce. Enforcement activity by the Department of Labor (DOL) is also relevant to a discussion of federal efforts to curtail unauthorized employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83889/
Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals
To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report looks at strategies to help deal with the following risks: longevity, investment, inflation, and unexpected events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83896/
Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals
To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report discusses risks involved with retirement fund disbursement and strategies for dealing with such risks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83870/
Federal Tort Claims Act
The Federal Tort Claims Act is the statute by which the United States authorizes tort suits to be brought against itself. With exceptions, it makes the United States liable for injuries caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any federal employee acting within the scope of his employment, in accordance with the law of the state where the act or omission occurred. This report discusses, among other things, the application of the Feres doctrine to suits for injuries caused by medical malpractice in the military, the prohibition of suits by victims of atomic testing, Supreme Court cases interpreting the discretionary function exception, the extent to which federal employees may be held liable for torts they commit in the scope of their employment, and the government contractor defense to products liability design defect suits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29494/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
The report opens with a discussion of how to analyze the impact of immigrants on the pay and job opportunities of native-born workers. It then uses this framework to examine and interpret the empirical literature on the subject. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29491/
Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers
The report opens with a discussion of how to analyze the impact of immigrants on the pay and job opportunities of native-born workers. It then uses this framework to examine and interpret the empirical literature on the subject. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29490/
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