Future of Work
The Future of Work program examines the causes and consequences of the deteriorating quality of low-wage jobs in the United States. Projects sponsored by the program have examined a wide range of causal factors, from foreign outsourcing and immigration to the decline of unions and technological change, that may have depressed wages of low-education workers. More recently, the Foundation commissioned a series of industry surveys and case studies of low-wage work in the United States and Europe to gain a more detailed picture of how changing competitive pressures are affecting the organization of work within firms and the quality of jobs available to high school educated workers. The current major research initiative funds an in-depth examination of the provision of care to children and the elderly, an expanding field of low-wage work in the U.S.
With RSF's support, more than 100 experts across the nation have formed the Employment Policy Research Network (EPRN), an online forum dedicated to the empirical analysis of America’s most pressing labor issues.
Low-Wage America is the most extensive study to date of how the choices employers make in response to economic globalization, industry deregulation, and advances in information technology affect the lives of tens of millions of workers at the bottom of the wage distribution.
Over the last two decades, high – and, in some countries, rising – rates of low-wage work have emerged as a major political concern. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2009, about one-fourth of U.S. workers were in low-wage jobs, defined as earning less than two-thirds of the national median hourly wage (see Figure 1). [...]
With this paper, we contribute evidence based on two subsectors of retail, food and consumer electronics, to argue that—notwithstanding the general pattern of low average compensation—there actually is variation across retail jobs in a number of dimensions of job quality. [...]
This brief explains why Medicaid policies lead to so much variation in current state Medicaid long-term care programs, and how those policies have been used in some states to expand the range and availability of services. [...]
In recent weeks, the national debate has turned once again to the country’s persistently high unemployment rate, which remains above 9 percent. Policymakers have offered competing proposals that seek to stimulate spending through tax cuts and more public investments. [...]