Alliance for Excellent Education. August 28, 2013.
Digital badges offer students the opportunity to pave their own learning pathways and allow employers to verify necessary workforce skills, according to the report. The report defines digital badges as “credentials that represent skills, interests, and achievements earned by an individual through specific projects, programs, courses, or other activities.” A credible badge stores information online through a digital hyperlink about the associated skills, as well as what projects and tasks the badge holder completed to obtain it. The report explores digital badges and how they can be used to improve student learning and outcomes, as well as expand vocational and interest-based skills for learners of all ages. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://all4ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/DigitalBadges.pdf [PDF format, 13 pages].
Urban Institute. August 1, 2013.
The study examines changes in labor force participation during and after the Great Recession and makes comparisons with the recession of 2001. A deceleration in labor force entry rather than an acceleration in labor force exits has driven the decline in labor force participation during and after the Great Recession. The decline in entry rates is concentrated among women, particularly young women and among men ages 55 and older. Moreover, the authors find that the labor force exit rate is lower following the Great Recession than it was following the 2001 recession. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412880-why-are-fewer-people.pdf [PDF format, 6 pages].
Peterson Institute for International Economics. August 2013.
One of the factors that may inhibit reductions in unemployment as the economy recovers is the extent to which existing workers would like to work more hours and employers may prefer to let them work longer hours before making new hires. This phenomenon suggests that the unemployment rate does not capture the full extent of excess capacity in the labor market. But how should it be measured? This paper argues that the United States does not have the necessary statistical tools to calibrate this form of underemployment. The authors describe an index that captures the joint eff ects of unemployment and underemployment and provides a more complete picture of labor market excess capacity. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
YaleGlobal. June 27, 2013.
The goal of sustainability is a clean environment for some, good jobs for others. Confusion is particularly acute in the area of renewable energy as countries accuse one another about unfair competition in solar panels, explains the author. Over-emphasis on manufacturing jobs neglects the jobs associated with design, finance, installation or maintenance. Attempts to monopolize green jobs erode the efficiency offered by global value chains; nations arguing over manufacturing raises costs and reduces availability of renewable-energy systems. Protectionist policies inevitably threaten trade cooperation, jobs and the environment. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/quest-green-jobs [HTML format].
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. June 21, 2013.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 established the hourly minimum wage rate at 25 cents for covered workers. Since then, it has been raised 22 separate times, in part to keep up with rising prices. Most recently, in July 2009, it was increased to $7.25 an hour. Because there have been some extended periods between these adjustments while inflation generally has increased, the real value (purchasing power) of the minimum wage has decreased substantially over time.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42973.pdf [PDF format, 4 pages].