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.

  • Research Brief

    Exploring Ohio's Pipeline of Manufacturing Workers

    The resurging U.S. manufacturing industry has a growing need for skilled and diverse workers. An examination of the pipeline between Ohio's postsecondary education system and employment highlights the challenges and opportunities that workers, employers, and educational institutions in the industry face.

    Sep 14, 2023

  • Report

    All Work and No Pay: Teachers' Perceptions of Their Pay and Hours Worked

    Since the pandemic, there have been some positive improvements in teacher well-being. However, teachers in some states are still leaving their jobs at rates higher than before COVID-19 hit. How might salary and work hours affect their decisions to leave?

    Sep 12, 2023

Explore Employment and Unemployment

  • Blog

    RAND Commentary Highlights of 2020

    The roughly 400 op-eds and blog posts published by RAND researchers during the year reflected an enormous variety of expertise and perspectives, from remote education to election cybersecurity to the economic harms of racial disparities. Here are 10 highlights that landed in high-profile news outlets.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Woman works at home while her children play video games, photo by filadendron/Getty Images

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Gave Managers a Look at Our Home Lives. Will They Now Penalize Women?

    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

  • Report

    Report

    Estimating the incidence of a housing affordability gap across the Cambridge travel-to-work area

    The aim of this study is to estimate the number of households living in the Cambridge travel-to-work area that fall into a housing affordability gap, i.e. earn below £45,000. Almost half (48.4%) of these households fall in the gap, varying locally.

    Dec 9, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Supporting Working Women, the Intelligence Community, Refugees: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on supporting America's working women, challenges facing the next Director of National Intelligence, how Syria's forever war is creating forever refugees, and more.

    Dec 4, 2020

  • Father with kid working from home during quarantine, photo by len4ik/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Telecommuting Is Changing During the Pandemic

    The ability to telecommute at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic saved many workers' jobs. Some of them are now returning to their workplaces, but most who can telecommute continue to do so. Telecommuting is also spreading to such occupations as health care and sales. Are these changes likely to persist after the pandemic?

    Dec 3, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    After Parental Leave: Incentives for Parents with Young Children to Return to the Labour Market

    This study examines the employment situation of parents with young children in the EU and specifically, the factors that affect parents' return to the labour market.

    Nov 25, 2020

  • Woman working from home with young son, photo by ArtMarie/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers

    The economic downturn during the pandemic is affecting women workers measurably harder 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

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Schools and COVID-19, Health Care Resources, Leaving Afghanistan: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on allocating scarce but lifesaving resources during a pandemic, insights from America’s educators, the lopsided telework revolution, and more.

    Nov 20, 2020

  • Woman working at home on a laptop with cat on the desk, photo by Drazen_/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Lopsided Telework Revolution

    The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a transition to telework, protecting the jobs and the health of those whose work can be performed remotely. Creative policies in a post-pandemic world are needed to help more broadly distribute the benefits of increased remote work.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • A person holds a credit card and types on a laptop while online shopping, photo by Ngampol/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Is COVID-19 Changing Online Shopping Habits?

    Americans' online shopping habits have continued to shift during the pandemic. By August 2020, more people were shopping online, and 39 percent reported spending more money on their purchases. People who spent less were likely to have lost employment.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • Syrian refugees living in Jordan work under Jasmine, a project which hires and trains Syrian refugee women to create handicrafts, in Amman, Jordan, July 11, 2016, photo by Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

    Commentary

    Five Strategies to Address Employment Hurdles Faced by Young Syrian Women Refugees

    Young Syrian women refugees face enormous challenges in finding meaningful work in host countries, with many relying on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs. How can employment obstacles be addressed for young Syrian women refugees in a post–COVID-19 environment?

    Oct 30, 2020

  • Illustration of a diverse group of women, photo by Ada Yokota/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Sitting It Out? Or Pushed Out? Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers

    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

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Election Interference on Twitter, Insulin Prices, Remote Learning: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on evidence of interference in the 2020 election on Twitter, U.S. insulin prices compared to those of other countries, how parents can help their kids' education stay on track during the pandemic, and more.

    Oct 9, 2020

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Commentary

    Unemployment's History with Black Workers

    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

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    How Russia Targets U.S. Elections, Black Workers and COVID-19, TikTok: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how Russia targets U.S. elections, Americans' increased alcohol consumption during the pandemic, Black workers and COVID-19, and more.

    Oct 2, 2020

  • Candidates waiting for a job interview. A woman in a suit holds a clipboard in her lap. Photo by skynesher / Getty Images

    Journal Article

    A Policy Review of Employers' Open Access to Conviction Records

    In this review, we find that (a) US employers' use of conviction information is not clearly aligned with the risk of future criminal behavior or employer costs, and (b) using such information leads to hiring errors that pose costs to society.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • A woman looks for information on the application for unemployment support at the New Orleans Office of Workforce Development in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 13, 2020, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Commentary

    Laid Off More, Hired Less: Black Workers in the COVID-19 Recession

    As the U.S. economy tries to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are adding workers to their teams, yet one group is being picked last: Black workers. Getting back into a job later could do lasting harm to millions of Black Americans' incomes and wealth accumulation for years.

    Sep 29, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Effects of Job Characteristics on Retirement

    We present results from a survey fielded in the RAND American Life Panel. The survey queried older workers about their current,desired, and expected job characteristics, and about how certain characteristics would affect their retirement decisions.

    Sep 29, 2020

  • Unemployment Insurance

    Multimedia

    Unemployment Insurance: Why Does It Vary Across States?

    RAND economist Kathryn Edwards discusses the variance of unemployment insurance across states and its effect on how workers are financially supported.

    Sep 28, 2020

  • Tired healthcare worker crouching in corridor, photo by Morsa Images/Getty Images

    Commentary

    It May Be Time to Rethink the Design of Jobs to Deliver Good Health for Workers

    Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the impact of poorly designed jobs on the health of workers was drawing attention. Now may be the time to fundamentally rethink the design of jobs so that they promote good health and lessen poor health and its costs.

    Sep 25, 2020

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