Employment and Jobs

Job Quality Newsletter: What Improving Job Quality Means for Black Workers

February 29, 2024  • Maureen Conway

How the US Economy Looks to Black Workers

Insights from our November 2017 event on “Race, Work, and Opportunity in America” still provide food for thought as we consider the experience of Black Workers today. This event, hosted by EOP in partnership with the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions, included Debra Plousha Moore, Ryan Haygood, Tanya Wallace-Goben, and Don Tomaskovic-Devey, with Dorian Warren moderating. All spoke powerfully to the systemic barriers faced by Black Americans in the US labor market. While the world has changed in many ways since this event, much of the progress we seek has yet to be achieved. The words of these speakers and their dedication to challenging racial biases continue to inspire us as we redouble our efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in employment. Watch it here and check out this PDF for additional context. 

Building Better Jobs for Urban Workers

In this clip, President and CEO of New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Ryan Haygood, breaks down commonly held assumptions about why Newark residents, who are mostly Black, lack access to quality jobs. Watch here and check out Ryan’s blog post on “Resistance and Change from the Ground Up.”

Empowering Black Workers Through Collective Action

In this clip, Tanya Wallace-Gobern — executive director of the National Black Worker Center Project and future Job Quality Fellow — describes how Black Worker Centers organize locally to end discriminatory policies and achieve “a collective voice for Black workers in the workplace.” Watch here and read Tanya’s profile to learn more about her work. 

Photo of a young Black couple speaking to a financial advisorRace and Gender Wealth Equity and the Role of Employee Share Ownership

Broadening opportunities to participate in business ownership can help address the racial wealth gap and offer working people the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the success of the economy. Drawing on recent research, this report – co-authored by EOP in partnership with the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing and the Democracy at Work Institute – makes the case for why policymakers, funders, and investors who care about racial and gender wealth equity should support employee share ownership. Informed by a roundtable discussion which brought together researchers, philanthropic leaders, investors, policy experts, and advocates, the paper provides a set of concrete policy and practice ideas to expand employee ownership and advance equity and economic justice.

Cover page of the Job Quality Narrative PlaybookImproving Job Quality Through Shared Success

From stagnant wages to low access to benefits, poor job quality affects millions of workers in the US, and it disproportionately affects Black workers. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Improved job quality can enhance both business resilience and worker well-being.  Recognizing that opportunity, EOP launched Shared Success to expand financial intermediary strategies that advance job quality, equity, and small business prosperity. A key part of this work involves fostering new norms and narratives among small businesses, the financial intermediaries that support them, and the institutions that are positioned to drive structural change. To that end, EOP collaborated with A—B Partners to understand business perceptions of job quality and to identify messages and communication strategies that will resonate with small business owners and engage them in job quality work, with a particular focus on BIPOC business owners. Check out our new Job Quality Narrative Playbook and Community Engagement Memo to find out what motivates small business owners and learn valuable insights about Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.