Wages and employer-provided benefits such as health insurance, paid leave, and retirement savings are fundamental components of job quality. They are primary drivers of people’s economic security and mobility that are determined by a complex set of levers, including market forces, industry norms, employer decisionmaking, and public policy. WorkRise generates evidence on and elevates our understanding of how wages and benefits affect workers’ economic security and mobility.

Working Knowledge

Employer practices February 12, 2021

How Do We Define “Good Jobs,” and How Do They Affect Worker Well-Being?

Our new blog series highlights evidence and areas for further research on connections between job quality and economic mobility. Our first post shares a new framework for understanding job quality elements and how they affect worker well-being.

William J. Congdon, Molly M. Scott , Pamela J. Loprest

Stakeholder voices February 04, 2021

Repairing Labor Market Institutions to Deliver Opportunity: A Q&A with David Autor

Autor, Ford professor of economics at MIT and WorkRise board member, reflects on raising the minimum wage, fixing unemployment insurance, and other reforms to ensure workers reap rewards from economic growth.

Elisabeth Jacobs

Skills and training December 30, 2020

Evidence from Sector-Focused Training Programs Shows Significant and Persistent Earnings Gains

A new NBER working paper finds sector-focused training programs enabled participants to increase longer-term earnings through jobs with higher hourly wages.

Archana Pyati

Wages and employer-provided benefits December 11, 2020

New Colorado Paid Family Leave Policy—and a Surging Pandemic—Creates Urgency for a Federal Paid Leave Program

Colorado joins eight states and Washington, DC as jurisdictions with paid family leave. Yet without a federal program, gaps in access to paid leave will persist.

Elisabeth Jacobs

Research

Wages and employer-provided benefits October 07, 2020

The Challenge of Slow Wage Growth

Because of sluggish wage growth, middle- and low-wage workers in the United States are today doing little better in real terms than similarly situated workers 40 years ago, exacerbating economic burdens experienced by workers during the current COVID-19 crisis. This brief examines the evidence on wage growth for the typical worker over several decades and concludes that efforts to rebuild the U.S. labor market must include policies to accelerate wage growth.

William J. Congdon