If the United States wants to avoid a long-term worker shortage, it should look to what policy can—but has failed to—fully address. We have a long history using carrots and sticks, but this is a problem we may not be able to cajole or punish our way out of. Finding workers can be as simple as giving more people a chance to work.
Aug 2, 2022 Bloomberg
The U.S. labor market is on track to hit a milestone this month or next: It will have recovered all of the jobs lost in the pandemic recession. But the pandemic recession and its recovery treated men and women differently, and treated women of color differently from white women.
Jul 18, 2022 The RAND Blog
The Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will affect much more than women's access to abortions. Abortions allowed women to escape abusive and even deadly relationships. Now that door is closing, state by state.
Jul 15, 2022 Bloomberg
When fears of inflation arise in the United States, people start paying a lot of attention to weekly unemployment-insurance claims, as an early indicator of layoffs that could augur a broader slump. But unemployment claims are a flawed gauge that may be particularly skewed by the pandemic.
May 27, 2022 Bloomberg
Workers in the United States have emerged from the pandemic with new preferences and demands, but they still lack the power to get what they want. By any meaningful measure, employers are still in charge.
Apr 20, 2022 Bloomberg
For more than a quarter century, the U.S. government has been sending an unmistakable message to poor, single mothers: Get married. If America genuinely wants to address poverty and achieve gender equality, this has to change.
Apr 4, 2022 Bloomberg
Amid the debate over whether the success of the expanded child tax credit in reducing poverty is worth its large price tag, many are missing a crucial feature: It was uniquely well-designed to address the increasingly precarious economic reality that millions of Americans experience.
Feb 8, 2022 Bloomberg
It's tempting to see in 2021 a harbinger of some permanent shift in our labor market, but that would be premature. What is clear is that we will never recreate the world of December 2019. The labor market in 2022 and beyond will reflect not only what workers learned from their pandemic experience, but also how employers and policymakers choose to respond.
Dec 14, 2021 The Wall Street Journal
If we are in the middle of a labor shortage, recruiting people back into the labor force is key to sustaining a recovery. The historic work choices of married mothers reveal a lot about what might lure people back into the workforce.
Nov 1, 2021 Dallas Morning News
The expiration of pandemic benefits points to the flaw at the heart of unemployment insurance: The constituency that pays for benefits isn't the constituency who receives them. Lasting reform to the unemployment insurance system will mean finding a way to benefit employers directly.
Sep 15, 2021 New York Times
The U.S. labor market had 10.1 million job openings at the end of June, but 8.7 million workers were still unemployed in July. If there are so many more openings than job seekers, why are there unemployed workers left?
Aug 25, 2021 Barron's
Policymakers have long had evidence that childcare enables mothers to work. What the COVID-19 pandemic taught everyone is how the lack of childcare can be a disastrous constraint.
Jul 26, 2021 The RAND Blog
As schools and day cares closed due to the pandemic, millions of women were driven from the labor market. What is it worth to the United States to have mothers in the workforce?
May 10, 2021 Dallas Morning News
By shoring up all state-run Unemployment Insurance programs equally, Congress set a precedent that it will intervene to raise benefits at no cost to state trust funds. From the states' perspective, why hike taxes on businesses to maintain robust unemployment benefits if Congress will step in when the economy goes south?
Mar 18, 2021 The RAND Blog
Unemployment insurance is the most important fiscal response the United States has during a recession, because it sends timely, targeted, and temporary financial assistance to those directly affected by the downturn. What the CARES Act created—remarkably high benefits for more workers—was a short-term experiment born of necessity, but it could have a lasting influence on public policy.
Feb 1, 2021 The Washington Post
The CARES Act broadcasted to everyone that Unemployment Insurance can do better by workers and employers. Congress can debate the hows of permanent reform, but its actions in 2020 proved the need.
Jan 7, 2021 The RAND Blog
Unemployment Insurance is the primary U.S. policy tool for sustaining workers during periods of high unemployment. But it has a history of being repeatedly neglected. Federal reform has been stalled for nearly 50 years.
Jan 5, 2021 The RAND Blog
Do unemployment benefits keep people from accepting jobs? What effect do they have on the economy? Researchers and policymakers have been debating these issues since COVID-19 led to widespread job losses last spring.
Dec 30, 2020 The RAND Blog
The pandemic gave managers a window into the struggles of working women. What will they do with this information? Will they accommodate women by making exceptions to their established norms? Or will they do the harder work of remaking their culture so women are no longer the exception?
Dec 14, 2020 The RAND Blog
The economic downturn during the pandemic is affecting women workers measurably more than men. There were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than there were last October. Investing in childcare and expanding labor laws could keep women employed and buoy the entire economy.
Nov 24, 2020 Dallas Morning News
Added to long-standing challenges such as securing child care and combating pay disparities, the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women workers measurably harder than men. The consequences highlight just how much policy has failed to keep up with women's progress.
Oct 23, 2020 The RAND Blog
Income inequality is an aspect of economics that resonates with many Americans: It feels like the rich are getting richer, while the rest are having a hard time just getting by. What would income distribution look like today if incomes grew apace with the economy?
Oct 6, 2020 ProMarket
There's a long-standing accusation leveled at the U.S. unemployment insurance system: that it's structurally racist, deliberately discriminatory from the outset, and remains so today. That claim has been met with doubt. But why doesn't unemployment insurance treat all workers and all earnings the same?
Oct 5, 2020 Los Angeles Times
By most measures, the workers hardest hit by pandemic shutdowns were those in the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services. These jobs, which are still affected by government social distancing regulations, are not all likely to come back before the pandemic truly ends.
Sep 4, 2020 The RAND Blog
As the broadest COVID-19 shutdowns were underway this spring, a historic number of American workers entered temporary layoff. Those temporary layoffs represent an economy put on pause. What has happened to them since then tells us if the economy can hit play again.
Aug 17, 2020 The RAND Blog
When COVID-19 led to millions of Americans losing their jobs, Congress moved to increase unemployment benefits by $600 a week. What should happen when those extra benefits expire?
Jul 23, 2020 The RAND Blog
Economic racial inequality in America cannot be solved through unemployment insurance, but it certainly shouldn't be exacerbated by it. And yet, Black workers are less financially supported during unemployment, simply by virtue of where they live.
Jul 15, 2020 The RAND Blog
Being a working parent was hard enough before the pandemic. If COVID-19 intensifies the perception that parenting is at odds with work, then there may be devastating career consequences for working mothers.
Jun 11, 2020 United Press International
Unemployment Insurance may need substantial reform to its application process, but it has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment disaster. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the new program intended for workers who are not part of the employer tax base, has not.
Jun 1, 2020 The RAND Blog
The extent of COVID-19's effect on the labor market will be catastrophic for many workers and businesses. Matching the unemployment rate peak set by the Great Depression is not even necessary to establish the historic nature of the downturn that we're living through.
May 7, 2020 The RAND Blog
Economists closely watch measures of consumer confidence because they are highly predictive economic indicators. New consumer data reveals likely long-term and prolonged economic fallout.
Apr 24, 2020 The RAND Blog
Parenting Through the Pandemic: Who's Working, Who's Caring for the Kids, and What Policies Might Help
To help inform policy decisions that could help working parents affected by COVID-19, we examined the U.S. Department of Labor's Current Population Survey and recent coronavirus relief acts. Our review shows us what aid working parents might expect and what kinds of aid policymakers might consider going forward.
Apr 8, 2020 The RAND Blog
More than 10 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in March as businesses closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington's stimulus package enacted welcome measures to tide people over, but these temporary fixes don't address some serious structural problems.
Apr 6, 2020 Los Angeles Times
As physical distancing becomes the new norm, so too does telework. But should federal agencies maintain their remote operations for the long haul? As those of us involved with national security agencies, operations, and workforce issues know, this is not a decision to make lightly.
Apr 3, 2020 The RAND Blog
Congress and the White House are weighing economic policies to help people acutely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are insights from RAND experts on what might be effective in terms of fiscal policy, stimulus spending, and emergency relief to affected workers.
Mar 18, 2020
While policymakers debate options to address college affordability and the nation's mounting student loan debt, an alternative education financing model has been gaining ground in a handful of schools and state legislatures: the income share agreement. While terms vary from institution to institution, they are all based on the same premise: The more income a graduate makes, the more they will pay back.
Jun 5, 2019 The RAND Blog
Millennials are less worried than baby boomers about national security topics and more worried about kitchen table issues, such as making ends meet each month and paying off debts. But this may have less to do with the fact that they are millennials and more to do with the fact that millennials are young.
Jul 30, 2018 United Press International
As today's young adults grapple with a difficult job market, high tuition costs, and rapidly rising rents, parents are increasingly providing financial support and other forms of assistance.
Aug 31, 2017 The RAND Blog