Employment and Unemployment

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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.

  • Doug Hassebroek eats breakfast while on a video conference call at his home in Brooklyn, April 24, 2020, photo by Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

    Report

    COVID-19 and the Changing Nature of Work

    Jun 18, 2020

    Between February and May, one in six U.S. workers lost their jobs. Most were either laid off or unable to work because of coronavirus restrictions. The ability to telecommute protected against job loss. But of course not all jobs are conducive to telecommuting.

  • A sushi chef waits for diners as Miami-Dade County allows indoor servicing in restaurants after easing some lockdown measures in Miami, Florida, August 31, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Commentary

    For Leisure and Hospitality, Weak Recovery Still Looks Like Recession

    Sep 4, 2020

    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.

Explore Employment and Unemployment

  • A Royal Navy sailor is reunited with his family after a long deployment with HMS Sutherland overseas

    Report

    Families Support to Transition: A Systematic Review of the Evidence

    RAND Europe was commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust to conduct a systematic review to develop a better understanding of the evidence base around four themes associated with the transition into civilian life for UK Service leaver families.

    Sep 8, 2016

  • Research Brief

    Supporting UK Service leavers and their families in the transition to civilian life

    RAND Europe was commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust to conduct a systematic review to develop a better understanding of the evidence base around four themes associated with the transition into civilian life for UK Service leaver families.

    Sep 8, 2016

  • Report

    The Military Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program: Recommendations for an Internal Monitoring System

    This report outlines a strategy for the U.S. Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy office to track progress on initiatives that aim to provide career development and employment assistance for military spouses.

    Sep 7, 2016

  • A young man looking at a computer screen

    Commentary

    You're Never Too Young to Plan for Retirement

    Saving early for retirement is critical, but it's also important to stay on track during job changes. Younger workers tend to change jobs often, and if they cash out of their plans with each position, that can affect their long-term savings.

    Sep 2, 2016

  • A businessman giving a presentation to his team

    Multimedia

    Workforce Development for the Jobs of the Future

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, our panel of experts discusses what California, the federal government, and employers are doing to nurture a workforce that is well prepared for the jobs of today and the future.

    Sep 1, 2016

  • Audience members cheer during a union rally for higher minimum wages in New York City, New York, January 4, 2016

    Commentary

    Working for $7.25 an Hour: Exploring the Minimum Wage Debate

    Raising the minimum wage is likely to change employee and employer behavior in ways that raise efficiency and offset increased costs. But raising it too high may lead to negative effects like reduced sales, outsourcing, and offshoring.

    Sep 1, 2016

  • A senior man working on a tablet

    Commentary

    Living Longer, Working Longer

    When people live longer, the costs of Social Security and Medicare increase and threaten the sustainability of these programs. Households also worry about how to finance more retirement years. But people are working longer, and if they continue to do so, they will reduce some of the problems.

    Aug 25, 2016

  • High school students taking a computer class

    Commentary

    Getting Technical: Preparing High School Students for the Workforce America Needs

    Fields such as computers, engineering, and health care are expected to grow. Employers and policymakers have a vested interest in ensuring that America's high schoolers are ready to meet future employment needs. Access to high-quality career and technical education programs is key.

    Aug 25, 2016

  • Workers working in a factory

    Commentary

    Back to Work: Middle-Skill Jobs in the STEM Economy

    The STEM economy will grow by 17 percent through 2018, with expected job vacancies totaling 2.4 million. Middle-skill STEM jobs that require associate's degrees or occupational certifications—such as computer support specialists, web developers, and engineering technicians—are in the highest demand.

    Aug 24, 2016

  • Job seekers wait to enter a job fair in downtown Denver, Colorado, March 13, 2014

    Commentary

    Labor Day Blog Series: American Worker

    To celebrate Labor Day, the American Worker series of commentaries offers research, reflections, and policy insights on a variety of topics that affect American workers.

    Aug 22, 2016

  • An older man in a suit working on a computer

    Journal Article

    Job Insecurity, Unemployment Insurance and On-The-Job Search: Evidence from Older American Workers

    The author analyzes how unemployment insurance (UI) affects on-the-job search among older workers in the United States, allowing for job insecurity.

    Aug 16, 2016

  • A businesman in a wheelchair using a laptop

    Journal Article

    Employer Accommodation and Labor Supply of Disabled Workers

    The authors examine the factors that influence employer accommodation of newly disabled workers and how effective such accommodations are in retaining workers and discouraging disability insurance applications.

    Aug 16, 2016

  • Depressed woman talking to her therapist

    Solution

    Improving Psychological Wellbeing and Work Outcomes in the UK

    Mental illness is increasing among the working-age population in the United Kingdom and is associated with high economic and social costs; it is one of the leading reasons that people claim sickness benefits.

    Jul 22, 2016

  • Demonstrators march in the Occupy LA protest through downtown Los Angeles to City Hall on October 15, 2011

    Commentary

    Fixing Inequality of Opportunity

    Research has fueled concerns about how income inequality drives inequality of opportunity. Commonsense approaches such as improvements in education and access to quality health care have been shown to provide young people with better opportunities.

    Jul 6, 2016

  • Young people waiting for a job interview

    Commentary

    Young Workers Without College Degrees Face Uncomfortable Truths

    Young Americans without a college education suffer from high unemployment, low earnings, and delayed adulthood with a limited ability to buy a home. To help them, policymakers need to remind themselves that workforce training and labor policy must focus on the technology-driven jobs of tomorrow.

    Jun 23, 2016

  • Graduates wearing caps and gowns

    Commentary

    Making the 'Gap Year' More Inclusive and Purposeful

    High schools and universities should work together, with the support of policymakers, to develop programs that would provide a wider spectrum of U.S. students with the opportunity to take a purposeful gap year—and enter college with some real-world adult experience behind them.

    May 19, 2016

  • Young mother working with her baby

    Commentary

    What Is Being Done in Europe to Get Mothers Back to Work?

    Helping mothers get back to work has many benefits. It supports women's economic independence, helps reduce the gender pay gap, and boosts the economy. Perhaps most importantly, it could keep more children out of poverty.

    Apr 26, 2016

  • Children showing their painted hands

    Report

    The Role of the European Social Fund in Supporting Childcare

    Formal childcare has many benefits for young children and can also help parents return to work. The European Social Fund can help create programs for parents to engage in education, training, and employment while providing childcare services for their children.

    Apr 25, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Pilot Projects Under the Call for Proposals 'Supporting the Demand and Supply Side of the Market for Social Enterprise Finance': Final Report

    The objective of the call was to identify, develop, promote and disseminate the good practice of national, regional or local governments and of financial intermediaries in assisting young social entrepreneurs at times of high youth unemployment.

    Apr 18, 2016

  • A man welding outdoors in Jakarta, Indonesia

    Journal Article

    Rethinking Indonesia's Informal Sector

    Indonesia's informal labor sector accounts for a significant portion of total economic activity. New data shows most informal firms in Indonesia are small, relatively unproductive, and do not want to expand or pay taxes.

    Apr 18, 2016

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