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.


In the Shadow of the Great Recession: The State of Working Minnesota 2013

Thousands of Minnesotans have little reason to celebrate this Labor Day. Even though the state’s economy is slowly improving, many workers are struggling to climb out of the Great Recession. They are still looking for jobs, working part time, earning less than they did before the recession, or accepting jobs that don’t meet their abilities.

Minnesota’s overall economy is improving, but a closer look tells a disturbing story: many Minnesotans still lack quality jobs that would allow them to support themselves and their families.

Raise LA: How Good Hotel Jobs Will Boost Local Businesses, Strengthen Neighborhoods and Renew Our Economy

Poverty jobs in LA’s hotels are exacerbating the problem of poverty throughout the city. Workplace standards for tens of thousands of LA’s hotel workers remain among the lowest of the city’s major employment sectors. Hotel workers are a key piece of LA’s highly successful tourism industry, but maintaining standards for workers has been largely ignored as hotel operators have focused intensely on boosting their bottom lines by increasing worker productivity.

Establishing a minimum wage for workers in LA’s large hotels will directly address the problem of growing poverty in the city of Los Angeles and will stimulate our local economy by an estimated $71 million per year in increased local consumer spending and related economic activity.

The State of Working Wisconsin: 33,000 Missing Jobs: Wisconsin’s Lagging Sectors

  • January 1, 2013
  • COWS
  • Staff Report

The 2007 recession, the Great Recession, is now six years behind us. But the aftermath is still painfully evident throughout the nation. For those still struggling to find a decent job, for those who can’t secure the hours they need to make ends meet, for those who have watched their resources and meager unemployment benefits run out, the Great Recession has never really ended. On paper, and as proclaimed by the committee of experts who decide this, the recovery began nearly four years ago. But it is such an anemic and jobless affair that while market and balance sheets have
improved, too few jobs have been added. In Wisconsin, the recovery has proved even more meager. Yes, we have more jobs today than at the pit of the recession. Still, we remain behind the number of jobs we had in 2007 before the recession began. To put this in perspective, none of the recessions that current workers have lived through – not the 2001 recession, nor the softer 1991
recession, nor the brutal double dip recession of the early 1980s – produced so little job growth this far into recovery. We are still waiting for enough economic dynamism and growth to get back just to where we started.

Credentials of Opportunity: Better jobs, better employment and better outcomes for Indiana

Our original research for this report includes analysis of data about credential programs collected from each public institution in the state. Our findings include illuminating revelations about the powerful economic impact that credentials can have for Indiana. Hundreds more credentials lead to self-sufficient wages and jobs on the high-demand ‘Hoosier Hot 50’ list and/or lead to career-boosting state licenses and industry-recognized exams. However, some of the most high-impact credentials requested by employers do not currently receive state financial aid or support. We analyze this data and make policy recommendations so the state can capitalize on these Credentials of Opportunity.