A report on a recently concluded statewide guaranteed income pilot program with 330 immigrant families demonstrated unrestricted cash assistance programs allowed for low-wage earners to pursue better jobs, increase their educational levels, and improve other critical outcomes for their children.
The 18-month guaranteed income (GI) pilot program was created in 2022 to address poverty and economic security for low-income, mixed-immigration status families and workers in New Mexico. Immigrant families were chosen for the pilot because polling showed these families struggled significantly more than the general population during the pandemic because of numerous exclusions from the country’s safety net; these exclusions were due to lack of a social security number even if the household had U.S.-citizen children.
- March 22, 2023
- Pablo Aquiles-Sanchez, and Laura Dresser
Over the past 40 years, the union manufacturing jobs that once flourished in Milwaukee have been replaced by low-wage, non-union service jobs, exacerbating racial and economic disparities. Properly addressing the intertwined issues of declining union and manufacturing jobs and growing racial disparity starts with restructuring the city’s service sector. In this report, we take a deep look into the city’s service jobs across multiple industries and occupations. We also hear from workers themselves on what is empowering them and what remains unaddressed on the city’s economic frontlines.
- February 16, 2022
- Laura Dresser, Pablo Aquiles-Sanchez, and Adam Kanter
There’s a crisis in service work in Milwaukee. Too many of these jobs—in food service, janitorial work, security services, and human and health services—offer low wages, inadequate and often unpredictable hours, and benefits packages that are usually weak, if they exist at all. For Milwaukee, these jobs have been a sorry replacement for the good union manufacturing jobs that once defined opportunity in the city. This economic transformation has especially damaged Milwaukee’s Black community, resulting in extreme racial disparity.
All of this was well documented before COVID-19. In the last two years, the underlying crisis in these jobs has been exposed and it has grown. Until we build a strong, consistent floor of better wages, more predictable hours, and stronger benefits in these jobs, the crisis will continue.
The City of Milwaukee can help to lead this effort. In every aspect of policy, the City can seek to strengthen job quality, raise labor standards, and support and build a high-road approach to service work in the city
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: