In U.S., Trust in State, Local Governments Up
Americans’ trust in their state and local governments has increased this year, with 74% expressing a great deal or fair amount of trust in local government and 65% in state government. Trust in state government has now essentially returned to levels seen before the financial crisis, after falling to as low as 51% in 2009.
The results are based on Gallup’s annual Governance survey, conducted Sept. 6-9. Americans’ trust in the federal government’s ability to handle international and domestic issues and their trust in the three branches of the federal government are all up at least marginally this year.
Americans typically trust local government more than state government, but a majority have expressed trust in each every time Gallup has measured trust. The public’s trust in local government has been more stable over time, and thus appears to be affected less by state or national political and economic factors than trust in state government is.
State government trust dipped to 53% in 2003 amid the California recall of Gov. Gray Davis, largely due to the influence of Californians’ trust on the national numbers. Trust quickly rebounded to 67% in 2004, then held steady at that level through 2008. Then the 2008-2009 financial crisis caused state governments to face financial hardships of their own, with many struggling to pay their obligations, and trust sank to 51% in 2009.
But with the economy improving somewhat and states apparently on better financial footing after making cutbacks in recent years, trust in state government has improved, a total of 14 percentage points since 2009.
Talking the talk: Cyber security cited as a top priority, but 25 percent of world’s banks still victimized in 2011
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) 8th global financial services industry security survey once again confirms information security is a top priority for financial services industry organizations globally. And despite the challenges of balancing the cost of improved security initiatives with perceived risk of sophisticated threats and emerging technologies, organizations say that have become more proactive in implementing innovative security measures and creating greater awareness within their business, which is hopefully good news for the 25 percent of financial institutions that suffered a breach in 2011.
Here’s a quick glance at the additional top three findings in this year’s survey:
- Increased coordinated activity among security and business groups: almost two thirds of respondents believe that their information security function and business are engaged; most organizations are using a Security Operation Center (SOC) model to monitor traffic and data and actively respond to incidents and breaches.
- Growing adoption of new technologies and security innovation: as the use of social media increases, 37 percent of respondents are revising organizational policies and 33 percent are educating users on social networking to address the security risks.
- Policing cyber threats and due diligence with data assets: almost half of the organizations surveyed (49 percent) claim to actively manage their vulnerabilities, with 82 percent also actively researching new threats to proactively protect their environment from emerging threats.
Lower-income households represent a high growth opportunity sector for retailers and manufacturers. Over the next ten years, more people will move into the lower-income group, which is expected to grow twice as fast as total households. Over the next ten years, the total number of households in the U.S. is expected to grow by eight percent; however, households closer to the poverty level will grow twice as fast, at 17 percent. To better understand consumers across the economic spectrum, Nielsen conducted an analysis of media usage and purchasing behaviors. Results revealed dramatic differences in the media consumption patterns and delivery platforms across income levels. The same differential was found in CPG shopping behavior, alongside notable similarities in some categories.
Employer-sponsored health care (ESHC) is the dominant source of health care coverage for the civilian workforce in the United States. According to the 2010 Census, 103 million workers obtained ESHC coverage that benefited 169 million individuals. Sixty-eight percent of the civilian workforce was insured through ESHC plans in 2010; this share increased to 73 percent when only full-time, year-round employees were considered.
ESHC benefits employees, employers, and health care plans by improving access to health insurance, providing more cost-effective coverage, strengthening the employer-employee relationship, contributing to productivity, supporting recruitment and retention, and improving efficiency of coverage. Yet, ESHC plans are under pressure from rising health care costs, a stalled economic recovery, and regulatory uncertainty around health care reform and possible tax reform.
The economic turbulence of the past few years has created a talent paradox: amid stubbornly high unemployment, employers still face challenges filling technical and skilled jobs. Employers now need to adjust their talent management initiatives to focus on retaining employees with critical skills who are at a high risk of departure and the capable leaders who can advance their companies amidst continuing global economic turbulence.
To help employers gain a better understanding of the latest employee attitudes and emerging talent trends, Deloitte Consulting LLP teamed with Forbes Insights to survey 560 employees across virtually every major industry and global region. Based on the results and Deloitte’s analysis of the talent market, three emerging challenges rose to the top:
- Engage employees with meaningful work or watch them walk out the door: Employees value meaningful work over other retention initiatives. 42% of surveyed respondents who have been seeking new employment believe their job does not make good use of their skills and abilities.
- Focus on “turnover red zones”: Employee segments at high risk of departure, or “turnover red zones,” are employees with less than two years on the job and Millennial employees (those aged 31 and younger).
- When it comes to retention, leadership matters: 62% of surveyed employees who plan to stay with their current organizations report high levels of trust in corporate leadership.
The Cross-Platform Report: How and Where Content is Watched
According to the latest Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, Americans spend nearly 35 hours per week watching video across screens, and close to another five hours using the Internet on a computer. Consumers are not turning off their devices, and there is no doubt that they are faced with more choices in terms of how they watch video content. Shifts in the distribution of time spent across all screens and devices demonstrate that more consumers are taking advantage of their increased ability to determine what, how and where they view content.
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Longevity Risk and Insurance Solutions for U.S. Corporate Pension Plans (PDF)
This report examines the impact of longevity risk on corporate pension plans, a risk often overlooked by plan sponsors. It highlights the role insurance solutions can assume in addressing longevity and investment risks for sponsors and participants.
2012 Deloitte Survey of U.S. Employers
U.S. employers are concerned about continued rising health care costs; however, they are unaware of solutions that could improve the safety and quality of care, and simultaneously reduce cost. While employer-sponsored health benefits are not likely to disappear, changes that shift financial risk to employees are certain.
These are among key findings in Deloitte’s 2012 survey of employers with 50+ workers offering health benefits. The survey explores employers’ opinions about the U.S. health care system, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and anticipated strategies for employee health benefits coverage and cost containment. Participants include C-suite executives and human resource (HR) professionals.
Eight-five percent of respondents to a Nielsen global online survey say that rising food prices are impacting their choice of grocery purchases, with more than half (52%) stating higher prices are a major influence. But price is not the only consideration that weighs heavily on the minds of consumers when shopping for groceries. Health factors, product availability and in-store services are also important considerations.New findings from a Nielsen online survey of respondents from 56 countries around the world provide insights into how 16 various factors have impacted grocery purchases in the last year. Manufacturers and retailers armed with this knowledge can fine-tune strategies to better align with what matters most to consumers—and what does not.
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A number of factors are converging to make the next decade likely one of the most tumultuous in the history of the health care industry. While it may seem premature or even risky to begin planning for a future that is uncertain, the greater risk is failing to take decisive action now.
“Provider 2020: Strategies for strategic differentiation in an uncertain environment” takes a closer look at a strategic response to the path forward. In this article, Deloitte reviews:
- Potential strategic destinations for hospitals and health systems
- The evolving journey of strategic differentiation
- “False positives” in the current market
- Where to start: Selecting the suitable path for strategic differentiation
KCC Issues Report on Historical Hurricanes That Would Cause $10 Billion or More in Insured Losses Today
KCC Issues Report on Historical Hurricanes That Would Cause $10 Billion or More in Insured Losses Today
Source: Karen Clark & Company
Karen Clark & Company (KCC), independent experts in catastrophe risk, catastrophe models and catastrophe risk management, today issued a report identifying historical US hurricanes that would likely cause $10 billion or more in insured losses were they to strike today.
Employing a robust methodology developed by the firm, KCC examined the nearly 180 hurricanes that have hit the United States since 1900 and determined that 28 of those storms would result in $10 billion or more in insured losses in 2012 given the greater number, size and cost of structures in their paths.
The 1926 Great Miami Hurricane tops the list with an estimated $125 billion loss. The two deadliest hurricanes in US history, the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane and the famous Galveston storm of 1900, are the next costliest at $65 billion and $50 billion, respectively. Two other Florida storms, the 1947 Fort Lauderdale Hurricane and 1992′s Hurricane Andrew are also estimated at $50 billion. Rounding out the top loss producers are 1915′s Galveston ($40 billion), 2005′s Katrina ($40 billion), the 1938 Great New England ($35 billion), and 1954’s Hazel and 1965’s Betsy. both estimated at $20 billion. Hurricane Donna in 1960 affected the entire East Coast from Florida to Maine and would likely cause a $25 billion loss today. The remaining 17 storms on the list range from $10 to $15 billion each.
The Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today released its eighth annual "Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report™." The report, based on Allstate claims data, ranks America’s 200* largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers.
This year’s top honor of "America’s Safest Driving City" is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the fifth time in the history of the report that the city has held the top spot. According to the report, the average driver in Sioux Falls will experience an auto collision every 13.8 years, which is 27.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years.
PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools (PDF)
Source: Gallup (Phi Delta Kappa)
From press release (PDF):
Americans have a number of conflicting viewpoints in their preferences for investing in schools, going head-to-head on issues like paying for the education of the children of illegal immigrants, according to the 2012 annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.
There are clear partisan divides over whether children of illegal immigrants should receive free public education, school lunches, and other benefits, with 65 percent of Democrats versus 21 percent of Republicans favoring it. Overall, support for providing public education to these children is increasing. Forty-one percent of Americans favor this, up from 28 percent in 1995.
Americans are also more divided across party lines than ever before in their support for public charter schools, with Republicans more supportive (80 percent) than Democrats (54 percent). However, approval declined overall to 66 percent this year from a record 70 percent last year. Additionally, the public is split in its support of school vouchers, with nearly half (44 percent) believing that we should allow students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense, up 10 percentage points from last year.
Though Americans clearly have opposing stances on many education issues, when the poll — conducted annually by Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) in conjunction with Gallup — asked Americans whether they believe common core state standards would provide more consistency in the quality of education between school districts and states, 75 percent said yes. In fact, more than half of Americans (53 percent) believe common core state standards would make U.S. education more competitive globally.
2012 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report Reveals More Than Four Million U.S. Homes at Risk for Hurricane Storm Surge Flooding
CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today released its annual Storm Surge Report detailing exposure of single-family homes to storm-surge damage within several predefined geographic areas in the United States. The 2012 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report provides the first-ever property-level analysis of residential property risk along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts broken down by region and by individual state, in addition to a snapshot of risk within previously reported major metro areas.
This year’s report indicates that just over four million homes in the U.S. along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at risk of hurricane-driven storm-surge damage, with more than $700 billion in total property exposure. In the Atlantic Coast region alone, there are approximately 2.2 million homes at risk, valued at more than $500 billion. Total exposure along the Gulf Coast is nearly $200 billion, with just under 1.8 million homes at risk for potential storm-surge damage.
Some companies are notorious for using interview processes that bring you back to the days of your college entrance exams wrought with riddles, written tests, bizarre questions, and multiple rounds of group or in-person interviews. So which companies have the toughest interview processes out there? Glassdoor dug through more than 80,000 interview reviews shared over the past year to uncover the Top 25 Most Difficult Companies to Interview.
Manufacturing is experiencing a crisis of confidence in the United States. Americans view the manufacturing sector in the U.S. as fragile and unstable. They are concerned about the long-term stability of manufacturing employment and fear that manufacturing jobs will inevitably be moved to workers in other countries. Despite these fears, Americans remain steadfast in their support of manufacturing in the United States and the economic benefits that result.
Today there are new pathways to manufacturing opportunity in America that are both available and achievable. And public policy has a major role to play in supporting these directions.
This report relies on collaborative efforts with a number of organizations working on important issues affecting the manufacturing industry, as well as surveys of American citizens, business and labor leaders, university presidents, and directors of some of the United States’ largest national laboratories. It presents a case for optimism – and for hard work. It examines some of the main challenges facing any attempt to cultivate an American manufacturing renaissance, and highlights recommendations that could help the United States overcome these roadblocks.
Consumers’ days of cutting back-to-school spending are behind them, and shoppers are reverting to more traditional information sources to study up before heading to the store, according to Deloitte’s annual “Back-to-School” survey, released today.
Nearly 9 in 10 (88 percent) consumers surveyed plan to spend the same or more on back-to-school shopping this year, with higher prices a contributing factor for some families. Among those who plan to spend more this year (34 percent), nearly 6 in 10 (58 percent) cite higher prices as their reason for doing so and more than one-third (34 percent) say their children need more expensive items than last year.
Despite these intentions, few intend to forego the tradition of setting a budget or looking for a sale. Nearly 6 in 10 (59 percent) consumers have a budget in mind for back-to-school shopping, and while two-thirds (66 percent) say they will shop for items on sale, fewer respondents feel stores are offering them more value for their money (36 percent in 2012 versus 47 percent in 2011).
Residents of Hawaii, Utah, and South Dakota were the most likely to be "thriving" in the first half of 2012 based on how they rate their lives today and their expectations for their lives in five years. Residents of West Virginia and Maine were the least likely to be thriving.