forthebookmark:Web sites worth knowing about

By Published on . The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on public policy research regarding economic security and employee benefits. Visitors to the site can browse recent issue briefs and access information from the association's surveys. Last month, EBRI released results from its 9th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, which gauges the attitudes of Americans about preparing for life after work. There's also topline data from the 1999 Health Insurance Preference Survey, which shows that 68 percent of Americans with employment-based health insurance aren't eager to switch to an individual-based health coverage system. Peruse the monthly issue briefs to read up on such topics as national health expenditures, women and retirement savings, and investment patterns among workers with 401(k) plans. Where do people turn for news? What sources do highly educated consumers rely on for product information? Find the answers at this site, home of The Wirthlin Report, published by market research firm Wirthlin Worldwide. Each month, the company selects results from its proprietary surveys and releases the data to the public. The May report looks at the Asian economy and how corporate executives view recovery in the region (don't expect it this year, they say). Other recent issues have covered consumer buying influences, Internet access, and Americans on the job. Reports can be downloaded as PDF files. The site's archives go back to the early 1990s, and there are also sample copies of other Wirthlin publications, including the National Quorum, which focuses on political trends in America. Sorry, The Wirthlin Report is the only freebie. For the past five years, the Graphics, Visualization & Usability (GVU) Center at Georgia Tech has conducted comprehensive surveys of Internet users -and, lucky for us, it allows unlimited access to the results for free. Despite the volumes of data collected, the site is a cinch to navigate. Click on the results from the latest survey of 5,000 Web users and pick what information you'd like to read. There's plenty to keep you occupied. Among the topics, find out how many sites people stash in their bookmarks (35 percent have 100 or more), how respondents feel about online security, and how the Web is cutting into time spent talking on the phone, sleeping, and doing housework. Data from past surveys is also available to analyze trends over time. Results are presented in colorful graphs and tables-easy to understand and apply to your own research.

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