Workers need to acquire relevant skills through education or experience to survive and thrive in the economy. The center's work shows why and how employers, education and training institutions, and workers can collaborate to make skill acquisition a priority in a rapidly changing world.
RAND Lowy Family Middle-Class Pathways Center
Stagnant or falling wages. Computers and automation. Newly irrelevant job skills.
For decades, the pathway to the American middle class has been obscured or blocked for too many. Changes in the workplace, new and emerging technology, globalization, and new expectations for workers mean that fewer and fewer Americans can expect to transition from high school to well-paying jobs that enable them to support families, retire with confidence, or bounce back easily from a disaster.
The RAND Lowy Family Middle-Class Pathways Center, launched as part of RAND’s Tomorrow Demands Today fundraising campaign, is committed to forging new and better paths toward equitable and sustainable work opportunities in today’s challenging world.
To assist workers, employers, and policymakers, we conduct pilot interventions, research, and analyses in three areas:
New From the Center
Depending on definition, the middle class has been either receiving less income (as a share of total) or shrinking in size since the 1970s. Lower-income Americans and their children will likely have limited opportunities for upward mobility.
In this paper, we develop a consumption-based measure of the middle class that closely follows economic theory of constrained optimization.