The federal government has a significant influence on shaping workers’ economic mobility and security. Federal laws, policies, and regulations govern wages, benefits, workplace standards, and protections against discrimination and unsafe working conditions. Federal policy governs income support and social insurance programs such as Social Security, and recent fiscal and monetary policies intended to provide economic relief to workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government also oversees major safety net programs for workers with low incomes—such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid—and it invests in workforce development systems, including community colleges and career and technical education. In addition, federal policy related to taxes, trade, and business competition also influence workers’ economic well-being.
WorkRise generates evidence on and elevates our understanding of federal policies that facilitate or limit economic security and mobility.