Top 7 Reports of August 2012
As challenging as the unemployment rates are for college graduates, it’s much worse for young people with only a high school degree or uncompleted bachelor studies – two groups that have been hit especially hard by the recent recession. As this report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows, they’ve lost jobs and lifetime earning power.
As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future. These stark assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey.
This paper from the Brookings Institution aims to identify specific problems facing metropolitan labor markets so that policymakers at all levels of government can find solutions that work. The analysis examines trends in the demand for educated labor and how a gap between education supply and demand is related to unemployment. It also attempts to distinguish between cyclical and structural effects, then illustrates how an education gap might affect both.
This month's Visualizing Health Policy from JAMA and The Kaiser Family Foundation takes a look at who is covered by Medicaid and the important role that Medicaid plays in the lives of many Americans, Medicaid's role under the Affordable Care Act, how growth in per capita Medicaid spending is slower than growth in private health care spending, how Medicaid improves access to needed health care, and which groups receive the majority of Medicaid spending.
Six western states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah — are home to some of the best renewable electricity potential in the country. These states have consistently sunny skies for solar power, wind-blown plains and deserts for turbines, and underground heat perfect for geothermal energy. They also have strong potential for smaller-scale technologies like rooftop solar panels and energy efficiency improvements. This analysis from the Center for American Progress shows these states can house clean energy projects providing more than 34 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal energy over the next two decades—enough development to stimulate more than $137 billion in investment in the renewable energy sector and create more than 209,000 direct jobs.
Our Changing Climate 2012: Vulnerability & Adaptation to the Increasing Risks from Climate Change in California
The California Institute for Energy and the Environment's assessment of California’s vulnerability to climate change finds, among other disturbing trends, that the state electricity system is under greater threat than once thought, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is sinking, coastal seas are rising and native freshwater fish are facing new existential challenges.
The latest survey by the Public Policy Institute of California finds that 7 in 10 Californians favor the state law to reduce emissions to 1990 levels and that 57 percent of state residents are unaware of the state’s new cap and trade system, which is designed to slow the speed of climate change.