Employment and Unemployment


An individual's education, age, and health status may present barriers or opportunities to employability, just as a region's economy, tax base, and number of immigrants and emigrants may affect job availability. RAND research examines the impact of a range of policies and forces—personal, regional, and global—on employment and unemployment.

Explore Employment and Unemployment

  • Britni Mann waits to speak with potential employers during a job fair at Hembree Park in Roswell, Georgia, May 13, 2021, photo by Christopher Aluka Berry/Reuters


    Will Unemployment Insurance Be Reformed? Ask Businesses, Not Workers

    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

  • Blog

    Just How Many Lives the Vaccines Have Saved, Afghanistan, Unemployment: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the number of lives saved during the early U.S. vaccination effort, what leaving Afghanistan says about other U.S. commitments, global competition for virtual-reality dominance, and more.

    Aug 27, 2021

  • A Wingets restaurant displays a “Now Hiring” sign in Tampa, Florida, June 1, 2021, photo by Octavio Jones/Reuters


    Job Openings Are at a Record High. Why Aren't People Going Back to Work?

    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

  • Report


    Project imPACT Cohort 1 Final Local Evaluation Report

    The authors summarize findings from a process and outcome evaluation of Cohort 1 of Project imPACT, an employment program for individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system, which provided services from July 2018 to December 2020.

    Aug 16, 2021

  • A warehouse worker wearing a hardhat and high visibility vest stacking boxes. Photo by andresr / Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Helping Los Angelenos Involved in the Criminal Justice System Get and Keep Jobs

    Project imPACT is a City of Los Angeles program that helps individuals find employment after they are released from prison. Participants may also receive behavioral health and legal services. An evaluation of the program offers important lessons about its successes and challenges.

    Aug 16, 2021

  • Senior librarian helping people with computers in a library, photo by Alina555/Getty Images


    Reframing Retirement

    Retirement is a fluid concept. Many retirees would consider returning to the workforce if conditions were right and they could set their own pace. A reframing of the aging and retirement process would allow us to see the issue in a new way.

    Aug 9, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employer-Sponsored Insurance for Low-Income Workers and Dependents

    Minimum wage increases lead to reductions in employer-sponsored insurance coverage in families with incomes below 300% of the federal poverty level.

    Jul 28, 2021

  • Woman working on a laptop with baby using a tablet in the foreground and older child at a table in the background, photo by recep-bg/Getty Images


    How the Coronavirus Changed the Childcare Debate

    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

  • Report


    Evaluation of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Program: Report on the Second Stage of Analysis

    In this second-phase study on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) program, the authors analyzed jobs on the MSEP Career Portal in 2016, interviewed participating employers in 2016, and then surveyed and interviewed spouses in 2019.

    Jul 21, 2021

  • UCLA Bruins guard Jules Bernard shoots the ball against Alabama Crimson Tide guard Jahvon Quinerly at the 2021 NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 28, 2021, photo by Aaron Doster/Reuters


    Charting a Path Forward for College Athletes to Receive Pay

    The NCAA has long restricted what student athletes could receive in education-related benefits. But a recent Supreme Court ruling may be a step toward allowing athletes to access the income that their labor produces.

    Jul 9, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Improving Working Conditions Using Artificial Intelligence

    This analysis discusses evidence on the expected impact of AI on jobs, the potential for AI to create decent jobs, and the extent to which AI offers opportunities and poses risks to working conditions.

    Jun 8, 2021

  • A woman wearing a mask and gloves holds a sign that says she lost her job due to COVID-19, photo by tataks/Getty Images


    RAND Remote: Changing Unemployment and the Post-Pandemic Workforce

    In this RAND Remote conversation, Kathryn Edwards discusses ways the pandemic is changing how we treat unemployment. She describes options for workforce recovery, including drawing women workers back into the labor force.

    Apr 29, 2021

  • A barista making coffee while wearing a mask, photo by stockstudioX/Getty Images


    Barriers to Entering the U.S. Middle Class

    Achieving and keeping middle-class status has become more difficult. Jobs with good pay for those without a college degree are getting exported or eliminated. Earning educational credentials is costly. Existing jobs are increasing education requirements, providing fewer benefits, and may not lead to longer-term careers.

    Apr 22, 2021

  • A Venezuelan refugee with his daughter on his shoulders asks for help at a traffic light in Medellin, Colombia, February 11, 2019, photo by David Himbert/Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect


    Colombia's Trailblazing Model for Refugees

    Colombia recently announced it will give temporary protection status to a million undocumented Venezuelan refugees, with permission to live and work in the country for 10 years. In doing so, it created a new model for managing its own refugee situation and perhaps others elsewhere.

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Blog

    Supporting Asian Americans, U.S. Gun Policy, Climate Migrants: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to support Asian Americans, the U.S. gun policy debate, the education “arms race,” and more.

    Mar 26, 2021

  • Report


    Evaluation of IPS Grow: Final report

    IPS supports people with serious mental illness into employment. This evaluation examines the uptake and perceptions of support from IPS Grow by IPS services. We also examine the impact that different support had on different services.

    Mar 24, 2021

  • People line up outside the Kentucky Career Center before opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters


    Will States Take the Wrong Lesson About Unemployment Insurance's Failings?

    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

  • Trenton Duerksen cleans a Triceratops horridus dinosaur on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, September 1, 2020, photo by Anthony Behar/Reuters


    Arts Policy During the Pandemic: What Are We Measuring, and What Can We Know?

    Few data sources exist for the labor market for artists. Of the sources that do exist, each measures a different piece of a larger puzzle. Those studying the arts labor market will have to grapple with which data source to use and how “the arts” should be defined before undertaking any analysis.

    Mar 8, 2021

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