May is Mental Health Month. One in 5 people will experience a mental illness directly, and these people are a significant portion of the workforce.  Mental illness has a significant impact on the workplace that often goes unrecognized.  When un- or under-treated it can manifest as a performance issue, such as absenteeism or compromised productivity, which carries a high cost to employers. Mental illness causes more days of work loss and work impairment than chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, back pain, hypertension, and heart disease.


Fortunately, mental illness is highly treatable.  Increasingly, One-Stop Career Centers are serving  persons with multiple challenge to employment, including mental illness. The under-reporting of persons with non-visible disabilities (especially mental illness and other cognitive disabilities) remains a challenge for the public workforce system.  Check out the Disability and Employment CoP for 30-second trainings and other resources on mental illness.



The U.S. Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Workforce Investment has released the second edition of its popular Guide to State and Local Workforce Data, which incorporates a number of additions and improvements:

-New data sources for many topics
-Additional links and revisions for the previous data sources in the Guide
-Indicators within each topical section to make it easy for users to locate the sources that have the most recent and most geographically-detailed sources, and/or sources that include demographic data
-A hyperlinked Table of Contents, allowing the user to immediately jump to a given section of the Guide

This data may be useful to SCSEP grantees as they go through the State Plan process.

The Win-Win Community of Practice has posted a presentation by the Department of Labor's Chief Economist, Adriana Kugler, on labor market policies and data analysis.  Dr. Kugler analyzes how well the labor market has fared in the aftermath of the recession, including in specific populations, industries, and states. She explains what data her office reviews, how DOL uses data analyses to make decisions, and what survey improvements are necessary to improve our understanding and policies concerning the labor market. Click here to view the presentation.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a report on the status of unemployed older workers. Unemployed Older Workers: Many Experience Challenges Regaining Employment and Face Reduced Retirement Security specifically examines the effects of the recession on this age group, including:

  • How older workers’ employment status has changed since the recession
  • Challenges faced by older workers in finding reemployment
  • Effects of long-term unemployment on retirement income
  • Policies might help older workers return to work

Among its findings, GAO concludes that "older workers tend to stay unemployed longer, and those who regain employment generally sustain greater wage losses than do younger workers."


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