HEALTH CARE SQUEEZE.
Health care benefits are eroding in the manufacturing and service
sectors, according to a report from the Center for National Policy, a
nonprofit, public policy group. Just 30% of the decline in employee
coverage is due to the national shift away from manufacturing
jobs--which have been more likely to offer health benefits over the last
20 years--and toward service industries. The remaining 70% is due to a
drop in employer-provided coverage in most industries. "While the
decline has cut across industries, occupations, and income categories,
it has been felt most by workers at the bottom of the wage scale,"
the authors say. Only in a few industries, such as the health care
industry, did employer-provided benefits increase.