Jobs

Every American who wants to work should be able to get a job. When stable employment is available to all, it improves the welfare of the country not only because more people are working, but because at full employment, employers have to compete for personnel, raising wages for workers more broadly. Moreover, workers of color and those without four-year college degrees—who have substantially higher unemployment—gain the most when the economy approaches genuine full employment. To make employers genuinely value their low- and middle-wage workers—no matter where they live or what credentials they hold—lawmakers must pursue policies that make more jobs available, and reduce barriers to employment.

EARN groups develop and advocate for policies that will create good jobs, such as investments in infrastructure and responsible economic development programs, tailoring programs target underserved communities and areas of high unemployment. They also work to reduce barriers to employment by supporting workforce development programs with good labor standards, sector partnerships, and policies such as ban-the-box that help formerly incarcerated individuals rejoin the workforce. Lastly, EARN groups’ work to strengthen state unemployment insurance programs, so that unemployed workers have support when looking for a new job.

Publications

Confronting the Labor Shortage Narrative and Protecting UI

  • June 3, 2021

Blogs, reports, and data to help describe current labor market conditions, address the labor shortage narrative, and discuss the need for continued UI:

Statements and blog posts responding to states pulling out of federal UI supplements:

Other potentially useful reports and data:

News Articles Mentioned:

What 2020 Revealed For Women (And How Recovery Can Happen)

Overall, the pandemic economy has not been kind to women, particularly women of color. Since March 2020, women have lost 5.4 million net jobs, nearly 1 million more than men. Service industries that tend to have higher concentrations of women workers, including women of color, were the hardest hit by the virus. Pre-pandemic, those jobs often paid less and offered fewer benefits—like health care or paid leave—that might have helped women better weather this particular crisis. Frankly, the pre-pandemic economy wasn’t particularly kind to women either, especially women of color and immigrant women who were more likely to work in these industries.

Minimum Wage Fact Sheets Shared Work, Shared Benefits: Why Expanding Work Sharing Would Pay Off for Employees, Employers, and Pennsylvania in the COVID Recession and Beyond

Expanding Pennsylvania’s use of work-sharing—reduced work hours and pay combined with partial unemployment benefits so that workers experience a smaller income loss—could be instrumental in reducing unemployment during the current recession and accelerating a safe return to fuller employment. Such expansion would cost the state little or nothing because of 100% federal reimbursement for work-sharing unemployment benefits through at least December 31, 2020, and nearly $4 million in grants available to Pennsylvania through 2023. This brief details executive and administrative actions that Pennsylvania could take to expand work sharing and mitigate the damage of the current recession to workers and families, businesses, and the state’s economy.

The State of Working Vermont 2019

An economist looking at Vermont statistics can see that the state is benefiting from the U.S. economic expansion, which became
the longest on record last summer: There are more jobs, higher wages, fewer children in poverty.1

At the same time, many Vermonters can look at their paychecks and wonder when the recession is going to end. The state’s
economic growth continues to favor those who are well off, while low- and moderate-income families wait for things to pick up.

Both views are true.