Labor Markets and Workers
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Productive workers and firms are the backbone of strong communities. For several decades, RAND researchers have conducted studies related to whether labor markets are functioning efficiently, and how they can be enhanced to provide opportunities for all. RAND has deep experience on both sides of the labor market.
On the supply side, our research on workforce development helps education and training institutions, employers, and policymakers provide individuals with equitable opportunities to learn, train, and retrain throughout their careers. On the demand side, our researchers examine what drives firms’ choices about how many and what types of workers to employ, and entrepreneurs’ decisions about starting and growing new firms. RAND also has a long history of conducting workforce analytics, including recruiting, career development, diversity, and employee retention and retirement.
RAND researchers conduct intensive research on how labor supply and demand interact, analyzing wages, employment, working conditions, and career paths; making informed projections of demand for, and supply of, skills; examining how labor regulations, public assistance benefits and other policies affect workers and firms; and recommending pathways to progress. We also help decisionmakers understand how to utilize data to inform labor market policymaking.
Technology, globalization, and demographic changes have altered what employers need from workers and what workers can expect from employers. Many Americans no longer follow a straightforward, linear path from education to the workforce to retirement—rather, it is becoming more common for individuals to work while going to school, return to school to get more education or change careers after spending some time in the workforce, or work multiple freelance jobs. RAND researchers are working with education and training institutions, employers, and policymakers to take a systems-levels approach to examining education, workforce development, and employment, and to develop evidence-based policy recommendations to better support workers and employers in the 21st century and beyond.