January 2007, Vol. 130, No. 1
Labor month in review
2007 Julius Shiskin Award
Mothers in the workforce
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Labor month in review from past issues
The January Review
Our first issue of the year has long comprised features compiling changes in labor law and other legal issues. It is not just a gesture of good fellowship with our colleagues in the U.S. Department of Labor that enforce many aspects of such laws and provide us with these compendia; these articles are well-used by our online readers. For example, the full-text of last year’s article on State labor laws was in the top 2 percent of all pages viewed from the publications office folder on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site.
So, it is with great satisfaction that we again present John J. Fitzpatrick’s compilation of the extensive changes in State labor laws over the past year’s legislative sessions and Loryn Lancaster’s summaries of the changes in unemployment insurance law. The editors thank them both for their contributions.
2007 Julius Shiskin Award
Nominations are invited for the annual Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics. The award is given in recognition of unusually original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics in interpreting the economy. Contributions are recognized for statistical research, development of statistical tools, application of information technology techniques, use of economic statistical programs, management of statistical programs, or development of the public’s understanding of measurement issues. The award was established in 1980 by the Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and is now cosponsored by the WSS, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Business and Economics Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The 2006 award recipient was J. Steven (Steve) Landefeld, Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, for his leadership in improving the U.S. economic accounts and related statistics through effective management, collaboration with domestic and international users, and scholarly research.
Nominations for the 2007 award are now being accepted. Individuals or groups in the public or private sector from any country can be nominated. A nomination form and a list of all previous recipients are available on the ASA Web site at www.amstat.org/sections/bus_econ/shiskin.html or by writing to the Julius Shiskin Award Committee, Attn: Monica Clark, American Statistical Association, 732 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1943. Completed nominations must be received by April 1, 2007. For additional information contact Steven Paben, Julius Shiskin Award Committee Secretary, at email@example.com.
In the manufacturing sector, multifactor productivity grew just slightly faster in 2003 than in 2002, and fell in 2004. Multifactor productivity measures the joint influences of technological change, efficiency improvements, returns to scale, reallocation of resources, and other factors on economic growth, allowing for the effects of capital and labor.
Multifactor productivity in manufacturing rose 3.9 percent in 2002. Until the slightly larger increase in 2003, this had been the largest rate of increase in the time series, which goes back to 1987. The multifactor productivity gain in 2002 reflected a decline in sectoral output coupled with a smaller decline in combined inputs.
Multifactor productivity in manufacturing grew at an annual rate of 4.0 percent in 2003. Combined inputs declined, but there was an increase in sectoral output, the first such increase in 3 years. Multifactor productivity in manufacturing fell 1.0 percent in 2004. The decline was the result of an increase in sectoral output that was more than offset by an increase in combined inputs. To learn more, see "Multifactor Productivity Trends In Manufacturing, 2002, 2003 and 2004," news release USDL 06-2040.
In 2005, half of all persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations were women. The share of women in specific occupations within this broad category varied. For example, 6 percent of mechanical engineers and 32 percent of physicians and surgeons were women. In contrast, 86 percent of paralegals and legal assistants, and 95 percent of dietitians were women. To find out more, see BLS Report 996, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (2006 Edition).
Mothers in the workforce
From 1975 to 2000, the labor force participation rate of mothers with children under age 18 rose from 47 to 73 percent. By 2005, the rate had receded slightly to about 71 percent. In general, mothers with older children (6 to 17 years of age) are more likely to participate in the labor force than are mothers of younger children (under 6 years of age). The labor force participation rate of mothers with older children rose from 55 to 79 percent during the last quarter of the 20th century, before declining to 77 percent by 2005. The rate for mothers with younger children has ranged from 39 to 65 over the last three decades, peaking in 2000. For a wide variety of information on women and work, see Women in the Labor Force: A Databook (2006 Edition), BLS Report 996.
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