The Roundup will be brought to you in July and August by the new Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN), an international membership organization for interdisciplinary work and family academics. The WFRN welcomes the participation of policy makers and practitioners as it seeks to promote knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among the community of global stakeholders. The Roundup is a compilation of the latest news articles, reports and other materials related to workplace flexibility delivered to your inbox on Monday and Thursday. In the fall, the WFRN will launch its new website which will include a News Feed among other features. We hope that you will get involved as a member and by posting the latest news. Questions?

March 8, 2011


Jobless rates vary but moving for work is risky

Ruth Mantell • MarketWatch • March 8, 2011

“Among workers laid off in the last 12 months who found new jobs, 23% relocated to a new city or state, according to survey results released in January from jobs site The economic downturn has been the catalyst for some workers to move, said Jennifer Grasz, a spokeswoman.”

The Best Way for Retirees to Leave the Workforce

Glenn Ruffenach • Smart Money • March 7, 2011

“This month we’ll focus on the employment end of the transition, where a phased departure, in which you leave work in stages, could be one of your best bets. At the moment, of course, the strategy isn’t used extensively; most workers, given the still fragile economy, are trying to hold on to their jobs, not ease out of them. But as nest eggs begin to recover, many of us will begin thinking again about when and how to walk away from work. As such, phased retirement is likely to enjoy a resurgence.”

Recession inspires people to start own businesses

Laura Petrecca • USA Today • March 6, 2011

“The economic malaise of the last few years pummeled home values, 401(k) balances and, for many, the security of a steady paycheck. But one thing it didn’t hamper was entrepreneurial drive. Some of the biggest gains in entrepreneurial activity occurred during the depths of the Great Recession.  In 2008, the first full calendar year of the recession, entrepreneurial activity increased 6%, says the entrepreneur-focused Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In 2009, growth dropped to 4%. And last year, when 340 out of every 100,000 adults created a new business each month, activity was about the same as 2009, according to a survey Kauffman is releasing today.”

W.H. extends women’s research

Abby Phillips • Politico • March 4, 2011

“President Barack Obama signed a memorandum Friday, extending the federal government’s collection and modernization of data on women’s issues. The order comes just after the White House released ‘Women in America,’ […] But White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said the report reveals critical data-collection gaps at agencies like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor — shortfalls that the president’s memorandum seeks to address. ‘One of the areas that the Department of Labor already was working on, because they recognized the gap … is in the area of workplace flexibility,’ Jarrett told POLITICO on Friday.”


His Recession, Becoming Hers

Nancy Folbre • New York Times - Economix • March 7, 2011

“Men are more concentrated in industries that are both more sensitive to the business cycle and trending down as a share of total employment.  However, women are more concentrated in state and local jobs that are now on the chopping block as a result of efforts to cut taxes and reduce public spending. About 52 percent of state employees and 61 percent of the much larger category of local employees are women – many of them working as teachers, secretaries, or social workers.”

The Happiest Man in America, Annotated

Catherine Rampell • New York Times - Economix • March 7, 2011

“Gallup has been compiling the 2010 results of its daily Gallup-Healthways Well-Being survey, which asked 1,000 randomly selected Americans daily about their quality of life: whether they’re smiling, exercising, eating their vegetables, enjoying their jobs, feeling safe walking home alone at night and so on. […] EMPLOYMENT: Americans who own their own businesses were the happiest on average in 2010, followed by professionals. The least happy are transportation and manufacturing workers.”

Making 100 Organizations in the Same Industry More Flexible … Key Lessons Learned

Cali Williams Yost • Fast Company - Expert Blog • March 6, 2011

“To promote a more formal, strategic approach, AWP created the Better Work, Better Life Campaign which is ‘aimed at enlisting 100 Jewish organizations in improving their policies on flexibility and parental leave.’  Recently, I was invited to present at a convening of 30 of the Better Work, Better Life organizations to discuss strategies to advance flexibility. This gave me a unique opportunity to observe first-hand what happens when organizations from the same industry gather to share best practices and support innovation in workplace flexibility.”

Number of the Week: Workers Not Benefiting From Productivity Gains

Mark Whitehouse • Wall Street Journal - Real Time Economics • March 5, 2011

“From mid-2009 through the end of 2010, output per hour at U.S. nonfarm businesses rose 5.2% as companies found ways to squeeze more from their existing workers. But the lion’s share of that gain went to shareholders in the form of record profits, rather than to workers in the form of raises. Hourly wages, adjusted for inflation, rose only 0.3%, according to the Labor Department. In other words, companies shared only 6% of productivity gains with their workers. That compares to 58% since records began in 1947.”

FCC Takes Steps To Restore Some Access Rules for the Disabled

Josh Smith • National Journal – Tech Daily Dose • March 3, 2011

“The FCC approved a series of measures Thursday to make it easier for disabled people to use communications devices, including one that makes it easier to for the blind to use cellphones to browse the internet and another that reinstates requirements for audio narration on television programs. […] There’s no longer a dispute on this central point: access to technology means access to jobs and full participation in our society and the global economy,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. ‘With access to broadband, an individual with disabilities can telecommute or run a business out of her home; receive remote health and job-related support; or gain access to online educational classes and digital books.’”

Global News

Overtime is working women’s lot

Leonie Lamont • Sydney Morning Herald • March 8, 2011

“NEARLY one in five women employed full-time work an extra 10 or more hours a week, the majority doing so because they cannot complete the workload within normal working hours.  A report to be released tomorrow by the Community and Public Sector Union, which surveyed more than 9000 women mainly in the federal and state public sector and government-owned businesses, warns that employers may be placing unreasonable expectations on their workforce.”

The burden placed on parents

Sophie Raworth • BBC • March 7, 2011

“For millions of families trying to make ends meet, being around a lot can be difficult. Stay-at-home mothers are now in a minority because up to 70% of women with children under the age of one go back to work. When both parents work, you need childcare and that is rarely simple to sort out. […]Even at home, spending quality time with your children can be quite difficult. With long working hours, mobile phones, computers, television and so much else going on, it’s easy for parents to be distracted.”

Men Without Women

Niall Ferguson • Newsweek • March 6, 2011

“According to the United Nations, there are far more men than women on the planet. […] This may come as a surprise to people in the Western world, where women outnumber men because—other things being equal—the mortality rate for women is lower than for men in all age groups. […] The mystery is partly explicable in terms of economics. In many Asian societies, girls are less well looked after than boys because they are economically undervalued. The kind of domestic work they typically do is seen as less important than paid work done by men.”