Upcoming Census embargo, updated Medicare provider data, overtime in workplaces

News. Five evils give poverty its grip. Billions in aid for low-income seniors goes unclaimed. President Barack Obama addresses the “diaper gap.” The U.S. has 1 million solar installations — will the next 1 million help low-income communities? The Houston school board approved a spending plan that helps schools with the most low-income students. The Arizona House revived KidsCare — and it moves to the Senate. Kansas lawmakers approved a welfare reform bill that will help with prescription drug costs. Louisiana will be the first state to use food stamp data for Medicaid expansion. L.A. is seeing another sharp rise in homelessness and outdoor tents. Food allergies = more $$$ for poor kids.

Data & demographics:

  • New subcounty population estimates are coming up – and will be under embargo by the Census Bureau next week. The 2015 numbers will include all governmental units, incorporated areas, minor civil divisions and consolidated cities. Housing unit estimates will be available for the nation, states and counties. The embargo starts next Tuesday, May 17 at 10 a.m.
  • U.S. workers are feeling better about finding a job if laid off, Gallup says. Confidence is back to pre-recession levels, in fact, after plummeting in 2010.
  • Covering the Oregon primary next week? The Census Bureau has demographic and voter data for you.

Reports & resources:

  • Three years of Medicare provider payment data is available, says the Association of Health Care Journalists. The AHCJ spreadsheets list providers broken down by state. Journalists can download and analyze these files – covering 2012, 2013 and now 2014 – to find stories for their audiences.
  • Wow, talk is hot about incarceration and joblessness: The Congressional Budget Office released a report Monday about several trends. Importantly: 16 percent of men in the U.S. between 18-34 were jobless or in jail, up from 11 percent in 1980. This has significant economic and budgetary implications, the CBO says.
  • Overtime in the workplace – now there’s a topic we can all relate to and cover. The Economic Policy Institute released several new reports (including graphics) in its ongoing series, this week focusing on underpaid postdoctoral researchers, overtime rights and a new Department of Labor rule that will require overtime pay for millions of salaried workers.
Final thoughts. I’m updating the Covering Poverty website this week, migrating it from a 2008-era site managed by a small company here in Georgia to a self-hosted WordPress site that I have access to update. The changes are in the works now, if you’d like to check it out and give feedback. I plan to incorporate more visuals, graphs and interactive information, as well as links to social media and a new newsletter signup so fellow journalists can more easily join the ranks with us each week. It’s about time Covering Poverty joined 2016. Your thoughts?
Carefully curating for you,
Carolyn Crist

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