Pumped Up, Workers Flex Their Schedules

Posted: April 07, 1999

Family needs loom large for American workers today.

Balancing work and family is more important to workers than any other employment factor, according to a new survey.

About 95 percent of the adults surveyed said they are concerned that work takes too much time away from their families.

In other categories, 71 percent said they worried about job security and 88 percent cited working conditions as a concern in the latest "Working Trends" survey by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University and the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.

Most desired: flexibility in schedules. A wish for flexible work hours or days was cited by 87 percent.

Reimbursement for education or training was wanted by 69 percent; 49 percent requested on-site child care; and 42 percent picked athletic facilities at work.

Among the pluses: 88 percent said they were satisfied with their job.

Tips for taxing times

The earned income tax credit can reduce or eliminate federal income taxes. But an estimated 4 million Americans who are eligible for it, do not use the credit.

And about 40 percent of the 20 million taxpayers who are expected to claim the credit make mistakes partly because of its complexity, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The average refund for taxpayers claiming the credit is running at just over $2,000 this year.

To get help: IRS Publication 596 is available at the IRS office, 600 Arch St., or the Web site, www.irs.ustreas.gov. Agents at the office can answer questions, or taxpayers can call the agency toll-free at 1-800-829-1040, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This year's maximum credit is $3,756.

Among the requirements for claiming the credit:

Your earned income and modified adjusted gross income are less than $10,030 with no children; $26,473 with one child or $30,095 with two or more children. Investment income must be $2,300 or less.

You better eat your Wheaties

Nearly half of all adult travelers in America eat breakfast when they're on the road, according to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by Baymont Inns & Suites.

But it's eat-and-run for most. The survey showed that 62 percent of adult travelers don't take much more than 15 minutes for the meal.

Send e-mail to meltzem@phillynews.com

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