Overview

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.

Working Knowledge

Worker voice, representation, and power November 11, 2022

New Federal Industrial Policy Creates Incentives for High-Quality Jobs

The recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), alongside the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and CHIPS and Science Act, could shape the labor market in ways that benefit both workers and employers in industries poised for growth.

Joseph Peck

Federal policy June 28, 2022

Roe v. Wade’s Reversal Poses a Disproportionate Threat to Black Women’s Economic Mobility

The June 24 US Supreme Court ruling, which struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, will undermine Black women’s educational attainment, occupational outcomes, and lifetime earnings.

Elisabeth Jacobs, Andrew Boardman, Archana Pyati

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Federal policy November 04, 2021

A Renewed Urgency to Strengthen Unemployment Insurance’s Automatic Triggers

Exploring how the current set of UI automatic triggers work, their limitations, and policy proposals to strengthen them.

Archana Pyati , William J. Congdon, Joseph Peck

Federal policy October 12, 2021

Lessons from Unemployment Benefit Expansions during the COVID-19 and Great Recessions

Last week’s jobs report reopens questions about the effects of pandemic-era unemployment insurance (UI) programs while they were in place, the way they were allowed to lapse, and considerations for their reintroduction.

William J. Congdon, Archana Pyati , Joseph Peck

Research

Federal policy September 29, 2022

The EITC and Racial Income Inequality

A new analysis from WorkRise grantees finds that the earned income tax credit reduces racial income inequality among lower- and middle-income households but may widen it for households in deep poverty.

Bradley Hardy, Charles Hokayem, James Ziliak

Worker voice, representation, and power July 28, 2022

Worker Power and Economic Mobility: A Landscape Report

This landscape report summarizes empirical evidence on two main pathways for workers to exercise their power in the labor market: the ability to exit their current job for  better outside options and organizations and institutions that build worker voice within firms.  

Ioana Marinescu, Jake Rosenfeld

Job search and matching July 20, 2022

Search and Matching in Modern Labor Markets: A Landscape Report

This landscape report synthesizes research on how job seekers find work and how employers post and fill open positions in the labor market. It also explores frictions experienced by both parties and implications for workers’ economic mobility.

Alexander W. Bartik, Bryan A. Stuart

Federal policy March 29, 2022

Income Inequality, Race, and the EITC

New grantee research finds the 1993 expansion of the earned income tax credit reduced income inequality among Black and white households in the lower half of the income distribution through a significant employment response among Black households.
Supportive services March 15, 2022

Expanding Child Care Subsidies to Parents in Education and Training

A fact sheet summarizes findings from a new WorkRise report that models a hypothetical policy scenario where more parents in education and training were eligible for and received public child care subsidies.

Gina Adams, Linda Giannarelli, Nathan Sick, Kelly Dwyer