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Author: Government Accountability Office
Resulting in 4 citations.
1. Government Accountability Office
Employment Arrangements: Improved Outreach Could Help Ensure Proper Worker Classification
GAO-06-656, Government Accountability Office, Washington DC, July 11, 2006.
Also: http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/abstract.php?rptno=GAO-06-656
Cohort(s): NLS General, NLSY79
Publisher: Government Accountability Office (GAO), since July 2004
Keyword(s): Benefits, Fringe; Benefits, Insurance; Child Labor; Insurance, Health; Part-Time Work

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Millions of U.S. workers participate in "contingent" employment, such as temporary or part-time work, and not in permanent or full-time jobs. The Department of Labor (DOL) enforces several labor laws to protect these and other workers, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which provides minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor protections. In June 2000, GAO reported that contingent workers lagged behind standard full-time workers in terms of income, benefits, and workforce protections, and that some employees do not receive worker protections because employers misclassified them as independent contractors. GAO was asked to update this report by describing (1) the size and nature of the contingent workforce, (2) the benefits and workforce protections provided to contingent workers, and (3) the actions that DOL takes to detect and address employee misclassification. We analyzed DOL survey data on contingent workers and interviewed DOL officials. Contingent workers constituted a relatively constant proportion of the total workforce from 1995 through 2005 and had diverse characteristics. While the population of the contingent workforce grew by an estimated 3 million workers during this time period, the proportion of contingent workers in the total workforce remained relatively constant at about 31 percent. In 2005, there were about 42.6 million contingent workers in the workforce. Contingent workers vary in terms of their demographic characteristics, industries, and occupations. For example, on average, contingent workers range in age from about 35 years for one category of temporary workers to about 48 years for self-employed workers. In addition, contingent workers are employed in a wide range of industries and occupations, including the services industry, construction, and retail trade. A smaller proportion of contingent workers than of standard full-time workers has health insurance or pension benefits, or is protected by key workforce... [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

(4) hoped the job would lead to permanent employment.8 Studies using data from the BLS National Longitudinal Survey of Youth show that events such as the birth of a child or a change in marital status affect the likelihood of entering different types of employment arrangements and prompt some workers to enter contingent work arrangements.9

Bibliography Citation
Government Accountability Office. "Employment Arrangements: Improved Outreach Could Help Ensure Proper Worker Classification." GAO-06-656, Government Accountability Office, Washington DC, July 11, 2006.
2. Government Accountability Office
ONDCP Media Campaign: Contractor's National Evaluation Did Not Find That the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Was Effective in Reducing Youth Drug Use
GAO-06-818, Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, Washington DC, August 25, 2006.
Also: http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/abstract.php?rptno=GAO-06-818
Cohort(s): NLS General, NLSY79
Publisher: Government Accountability Office (GAO), since July 2004
Keyword(s): Dual-Career Families; Substance Use

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

GAO's review of Westat's evaluation reports and associated documentation leads to the conclusion that the evaluation provides credible evidence that the campaign was not effective in reducing youth drug use, either during the entire period of the campaign or during the period from 2002 to 2004 when the campaign was redirected and focused on marijuana use. By collecting longitudinal data--i.e., multiple observations on the same persons over time--using generally accepted and appropriate sampling and analytic techniques, and establishing reliable methods for measuring campaign exposure, Westat was able to produce credible evidence to support its findings about the relationship between exposure to campaign advertisements and both drug use and intermediate outcomes. In particular, Westat was able to demonstrate that its sample was not biased despite sample coverage losses, maintained high follow-up response rates of sampled individuals to provide for robust longitudinal analysis, established measures of exposure that could detect changes in outcomes on the order of magnitude that ONDCP expected for the campaign and that could reliably measure outcomes, and used sophisticated statistical methods to isolate causal effects of the campaign.
Bibliography Citation
Government Accountability Office. "ONDCP Media Campaign: Contractor's National Evaluation Did Not Find That the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Was Effective in Reducing Youth Drug Use." GAO-06-818, Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, Washington DC, August 25, 2006.
3. Government Accountability Office
Unemployment Insurance: Factors Associated with Benefit Receipt
GAO-06-341, Government Accountablity Office, Washington DC, March 2006.
Also: http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/abstract.php?rptno=GAO-06-341
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Government Accountability Office (GAO), since July 2004
Keyword(s): Benefits, Insurance; Unemployment; Unemployment Compensation; Unemployment Duration; Unemployment Insurance; Unions

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Unemployment Insurance (UI), established in 1935, is a complex system of 53 state programs that in fiscal year 2004 provided $41.3 billion in temporary cash benefits to 8.8 million eligible workers who had become unemployed through no fault of their own. Given the size of the UI program, its importance in helping workers meet their needs when they are unemployed, and the little information available on what factors lead eligible workers to receive benefits over time, GAO was asked to determine (1) the extent to which an individual worker's characteristics, including past UI benefit receipt, are associated with the likelihood of UI benefit receipt or unemployment duration, and (2) whether an unemployed worker's industry is associated with the likelihood of UI benefit receipt and unemployment duration. Using data from a nationally representative sample of workers born between 1957 and 1964 and spanning the years 1979 through 2002, and information on state UI eligibility rules, GAO used multivariate statistical techniques to identify the key factors associated with UI benefit receipt and unemployment duration. In its comments, the Department of Labor stated that while there are certain qualifications of our findings, the agency applauds our efforts and said that this report adds to our current knowledge of the UI program.

Certain characteristics are associated with the likelihood of receiving UI benefits and unemployment duration. UI-eligible workers that GAO studied are more likely to receive UI benefits if they have higher earnings prior to becoming unemployed, are younger, have more years of education, or if they have a history of past UI benefit receipt when compared with otherwise similar workers. GAO found that past experience with the UI program has a particularly strong effect on the future likelihood of receiving UI benefits. However, some characteristics, such as receiving a higher maximum weekly UI benefit amount, are not associated with a greater likelihood of receiving UI benefits. UI-eligible workers who receive UI benefits have longer unemployment duration than workers with similar characteristics. Also, UI-eligible workers are more likely to experience longer unemployment duration if they have lower earnings before becoming unemployed or have fewer years of education. Other characteristics associated with longer unemployment duration include being African-American, female, or not belonging to a union. GAO found no relationship between past UI benefit receipt and subsequent unemployment duration. UI-eligible workers from certain industries are more likely than similar workers in other industries to receive UI benefits and experience shorter unemployment duration. Specifically, GAO's simulations show that the likelihood of receiving UI benefits during a first period of unemployment is highest among workers from the mining and manufacturing industries. Furthermore, the likelihood of receiving UI benefits when unemployed increases with each previous period of UI receipt across all industries, and the most notable increase occurs in public administration. First-time unemployed workers from construction and manufacturing experience significantly shorter unemployment duration than workers from other industries.

Bibliography Citation
Government Accountability Office. "Unemployment Insurance: Factors Associated with Benefit Receipt." GAO-06-341, Government Accountablity Office, Washington DC, March 2006.
4. Government Accountability Office
Nilsen, Sigurd R.
Employee Misclassification: Improved Outreach Could Help Ensure Proper Worker Classification
Washington, DC, GAO-07-859T, Government Accountablity Office, May 8, 2007.
Also: www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-859T
Cohort(s): NLS General, NLSY79
Publisher: Government Accountability Office (GAO), since July 2004
Keyword(s): Benefits; Benefits, Insurance; Insurance, Health; Labor Supply; Minimum Wage; Social Security; Unemployment Insurance; Work Hours

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

GAO Testimony before the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support and Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives. Statement of Sigurd R. Nilsen, Director Education, Workforce, and Income Security.

In his testimony Mr. Nilsen finds:
Some workers do not receive worker protections to which they are entitled because employers misclassify them as independent contractors when they should be classified as employees. Key worker protections include minimum hourly wage and overtime pay and access to unemployment insurance. The Department of Labor (DOL) enforces several labor laws to protect workers, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Misclassification can also have a negative impact on tax collection for Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other programs. This testimony draws upon a previous GAO report and focuses specifically on (1) the number and characteristics of independent contractors, (2) the workforce protections and benefits provided to employees that typically are not available to independent contractors, and (3) the actions that DOL takes to detect and address employee misclassification. The number of independent contractors in the total employed workforce grew from 6.7 percent in 1995 to 7.4 percent in 2005. In 2005, there were 10.3 million independent contractors. Independent contractors, in 2005, had an average age of 46 years, were almost twice as likely to be male than female, and almost two-thirds had some college or higher education. Independent contractors were employed in a wide range of industries (such as professional services and construction) and occupations (including sales and management). When employees are misclassified as independent contractors, they may be excluded from coverage under key laws designed to protect workers and may not have access to employer-provided health insurance coverage and pension plans. Moreover, misclassification of employees can affect the administration of many federal and state programs, such as payment of taxes and payments into state workers' compensation and unemployment insurance programs. Notably, the tests used to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee are complex,... [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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Bibliography Citation
Government Accountability Office and Sigurd R. Nilsen. "Employee Misclassification: Improved Outreach Could Help Ensure Proper Worker Classification." Washington, DC, GAO-07-859T, Government Accountablity Office, May 8, 2007.