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62 between the two groups. Within each group there is a loose loose. In the case of the high-wage group, there is no clear asso- association between wages and turnover. Most of the higher ciation between turnover and the percentage of part-time wage providers have a very low turnover, but there are many operators. lower wage systems with moderate rates of turnover. In the The above analysis is based on the actual wages reported case of the public providers, the trend is dominated by a few by survey respondents. In an effort to control for differences providers that have zero or near-zero turnover and high wages. in labor costs in each area, the research team adjusted these The results suggest that there is some aspect of public ser- actual wages to reflect typical wages in each area. As noted vice provision that produces lower turnover other than sim- above, these adjustments were made using information ply higher wage rates. For example, operators working for from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2008 Metropolitan public providers have more job security because they do not and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and face the uncertainty connected with changes in contract Wage Estimates. Median hourly wages for Transportation providers and also because public providers may have more and Materials Moving Occupations was used to make the procedures in place that require a clear cause of termination adjustments. and attempts to remedy the poor performance before an Figure 5-3 shows that adjusting starting wages to account operator can be terminated. Operators working for public for different prevailing wage rates among areas does not providers probably have better pension benefits which improve the association of wages with turnover. Interestingly, would provide an incentive for an operator to stay with the using the adjusted wages does not improve the association job. Since public operators have access to capital funds to with turnover; instead, it obscures the association. build facilities and are less driven to maximize profit or cut costs, working conditions for vehicle operators at public Health Care Coverage, Provider Type, providers are probably better in most cases than at private and Turnover contractors. Figure 5-2 shows the relationship represented by regression Figure 5-4 shows the relationship between health care Model 2. The highest wage group (asterisks) has the lowest coverage and turnover. There does appear to be a tendency turnover, the lowest wage group (hollow diamonds) has the for systems that pay a higher percentage of health care to highest turnover, and the medium-wage group (black squares) have lower turnover on average. Regression analysis finds is in the middle. As with the public/private distinction, there that the relationship is almost statistically significant (with is a great deal of overlap in turnover rates among the wage cat- 91% confidence) despite the obviously wide scatter of obser- egories. Within the middle- and low-wage groups, the associ- vations. Since public systems have both lower turnover and ation between the percentage of part-time operators and higher employer contributions to health care, it is possible turnover found by the regression model is apparent though that some of the apparent influence of paid health benefits 90% 80% 70% Annual Turnover 60% Less than $10 per hour 50% $10 up to $12 per hour 40% $12 per hour or more Trendline - L ess than $10 30% Trendline - $10 up to $12 20% Trendline - $12 or more 10% 0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent Part-Time Figure 5-2. Starting wage, part-time percentage, and turnover.