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The Economic Security of American Workers: Trends in the Labor Market, Savings Behavior, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States

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Publication Date: December 2008

Publisher(s): Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Author(s): Jody Schimmel

Funder(s): Rockefeller Foundation

Funder(s): Rockefeller Foundation

Topic: Economics (Economic conditions)
Labor (Labor conditions, wages, salaries, and benefits)

Keywords: American Workers; Economic Security; Labor Market; Health Insurance Coverage

Type: Report

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

The Rockefeller Foundation's Campaign for American Workers (CAW) aims to enhance the economic security of American workers during the 21st century by improving access to health insurance and increasing short-term and retirement savings.

This report summarizes an analysis of economic security in these domains, identifying areas where economic security may be eroding, but also where anecdotes or hypotheses about worsening trends in economic security may not be borne out in empirical evidence. Labor market changes in the past several decades have left more workers to fend for themselves, with less support from employers. Increasing health care costs and new obligations to save for retirement may erode working households' ability to save for emergencies and other short-run needs. Gains that workers have seen in recent years from stock or housing market increases may now be gone, though most evidence used in this report is not yet able to track such losses.

The report provides a baseline assessment of the economic environment at the start of the CAW and facilitates tracking trends over time as the initiative continues.