Entries in Working (3)


Working Women: What Happens as They Age?

JupiterImages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As women get older, many want to – or have to – continue to work, just as many men do.  Still, a new report from the advocacy group OWL indicates that middle-aged and older women may have a tougher time working as they age compared to men.

“What surprised me was the number of older workers, women, over 50, over 60, over 70 who considered themselves unemployed and looking for work,” said Margaret Huyck, president of the Older Women’s League National Board.

The report found that for women between the ages of 55 to 61 who do have a job, nearly 21 percent of them are underemployed, compared with only 7 percent of underemployed men the same age. “We just have a long history of discounting older women as productive workers,” according to Huyck.

OWL, which calls itself “The Voice of Midlife and Older Women,” in its report found that the pay gap for women grows wider as a woman age.  For workers between the ages of 16 to 19, women earn 95 percent of what men do; between between the ages of 35 and 44, that drops to 80 percent and by age 65, women are making 76 percent as much as men the same age.

Part of the reason for this pay gap is that women are more likely than men to leave the workforce for a time. The report finds “most caregivers are female and middle-aged and drop out of the workforce for an average of 12 years to care for young children or aging parents.”

Working fewer years, and earning less money, can make it difficult for women when they retire.  According to the report, almost twice as many retired women (12 percent) live in poverty as retired men (6.6 percent), and that without Social Security benefits half of women aged 65 and older would live below the poverty line.

The report makes dozens of recommendations, including tougher anti-discrimination laws to discourage age and gender discrimination, incentives for companies to hire older workers and support for women entrepreneurs.  They also suggest changes that could help all workers, such as more flexible work schedules.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Workers' Biggest Pet Peeves Revealed

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- "People not taking ownership for their actions" tops the list of workplace pet peeves for Americans and the world. A new global survey by social networking site LinkedIn found that in the U.S., rounding out the top three office peeves are "constant complainers" and "dirty common areas," including community microwaves or refrigerators.

"People not taking ownership for their actions" was also the most common pet peeve globally, chosen by 78 percent of total respondents.

But not all pet-peeves are equal when it comes to gender, the survey found. In the U.S., women reported being more annoyed than men by "clothing that's too revealing for the workplace." That bothered only 29 percent of the men surveyed, but 62 percent of women.

LinkedIn conducted the research in 16 countries and collected data from 17,653 professionals. In the U.S., LinkedIn surveyed 1,953 people.

The office pet peeve that bothered hiring managers (65 percent) more than non-hiring managers (55 percent) in the U.S. was "showing up late for meetings."

American professionals are more peeved than professionals in other countries when it comes to taking food from the refrigerator that isn’t yours, and the U.S. was the eighth most peeved-out country in this regard.

The country with the most pet peeves is India -- on average, Indian professionals selected about 19 of the 38 pet peeves listed in the survey. Italy had the fewest aggravations. LinkedIn said Italian professionals, on average, selected about 15 of the 38 choices.

Some of the biggest pet-peeves in other countries were:

  • Brazil: most peeved by excessive gossiping
  • Germany: dirty common areas (such as a dirty community microwave or refrigerator)
  • India: loud or irritating mobile phone ringtones
  • Japan: office pranks

A total of 38 pet peeves were listed in the survey:

  • Loud typing
  • Loud talkers / people who take calls on speakerphone
  • Loud or irritating mobile phone ringtones
  • Listening to music or videos without headphones
  • People chatting by your workspace
  • Humming/whistling/tapping
  • Chewing gum
  • A pungent-smelling lunch
  • Taking food from the refrigerator that isn't yours
  • Dirty common areas (such as a dirty community microwave or refrigerator)
  • Not putting things in the office kitchen/pantry back where they belong
  • People throwing things in your garbage
  • Messy desk
  • People borrowing and not returning items from your desk
  • Too much perfume
  • Grooming (filing/clipping/polishing nails, tweezing, etc.)
  • Clothing that's too revealing for the workplace
  • Constant complainers
  • Eavesdropping and then chiming in
  • Excessive gossiping
  • Too much talk about health issues, spouses, children
  • Colleagues who make too many personal phone calls
  • Office pranks
  • Too many meetings
  • Starting meetings late or going long
  • Showing up late for meetings
  • Using phone or laptop during meetings
  • Hitting "reply all" on mass employee emails
  • Being CC'd on a long email string that doesn't pertain to you
  • People that don’t respond to emails
  • People who send too many unimportant e-mails
  • Not filling an empty printer with paper
  • Overachievers that pander to the boss
  • Overuse of workplace/industry jargon
  • Trivial interruptions
  • People who are first in and last out "just because"
  • Coming to the office when sick
  • People not taking ownership for their actions
  • Other

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Working in America: Public vs. Private Sector

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the protests in Wisconsin bring the issues of public sector workers' pay and benefits into the national spotlight, it’s important to understand the actual differences between what government worker and private sector workers actually get in return for their efforts.
The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009) show that government workers make about 5 percent more than private sector workers on average.  But, as can be seen in the data listed below, the headline numbers hide some major disparities beyond the headlines.

Average Annual Wage

Federal Govt. Workers -- $67,756
State Police -- $61,000
Local Firefighters -- $60,572
State Govt. Workers -- $48,742
State Legislative Workers -- $48,129
Government (all types) -- $47,552
Private (total sector) -- $45,155
Local Govt. Workers -- $43,140
Local Schools -- $41,113
Average Annual Wage

Private Sector CPA -- $71,216
Federal Govt. CPA -- $67,531
Local Govt. CPA -- $64,050

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009

Local teachers make 9 percent less than the average private sector worker. And federal employees are substantially better paid than the average state worker.

But working for the government doesn’t automatically mean a bigger paycheck. Take, for example, accountants. Government data shows that a certified public accountant who works in the private sector will have an annual salary of $71,000. That same certification and education will lead to a $68,000 average salary for the federal government and $64,000 if you work for a local government.


Some of this headline pay disparity is likely attributable to the union representation many in government enjoy. In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed that 36.2 percent of public sector workers were unionized, compared to a 6.9 percent union membership rate for private sector workers.

Workers in education, training and library occupations had the highest unionization rate at 37.1 percent.
Public sector workers also are significantly more likely to have traditional pension plans -- called “defined benefit” plans. The latest data from BLS showed 20 percent of workers in the private sector have pension plans. In the public sector, defined benefit plan coverage is four times greater -- about 79 percent.
The latest Kaiser Family Foundation survey on the costs of health insurance showed government workers are more likely to be offered health insurance while they work and in retirement.

In retail firms, for example, only 48 percent of workers were covered by health benefits offered by their firm (the worst industry for insurance coverage), compared to 80 percent of workers in state and local government (the best industry for insurance coverage).

And those state/local government employees are paying less for coverage than their private sector neighbors.
Data from Kaiser shows the average employee cost for “family” health coverage was around $3,700 in the latest year. Employees in the service sector pay about $4,200 for similar family coverage, mostly because their employers require a bigger contribution from the employee to get the benefit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio