Employment and Jobs

Procurement with Purpose: Improving Job Quality and Equity Through Public Procurement Reform

December 6, 2022  • Mark G. Popovich & Maureen Conway

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This era may be a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to channel a rising river of public funds to help address the country’s job quality crisis. The $2.1 trillion in annual public procurement spending already affects job quality and diversity. This paper, completed with support from The James Irvine Foundation and the Surdna Foundation, argues for strategic reforms to procurement policies and practices that include reporting on job quality and diversity, equity, and inclusion by firms seeking public contracts. The data needed are in the hands of employers, and rating protocols can gauge employers’ performance. Adopting these and other measures would motivate greater efforts by employers to boost job quality and racial, ethnic, and gender equity. While procurement systems are complex and slow to evolve, select reforms are both achievable and consistent with the systems’ core functions and history of attention to socioeconomic goals. This paper offers a range of principles and ideas to guide a movement toward public procurement reform that seeks to ensure that more jobs are high quality, secure, and equitably accessible.




Let’s channel the river of public #procurement funds — almost $2.1 trillion in the US per year — toward enhancing #jobquality and #equity. This paper by @mpopov1229 and @conway_maureen offers specific ideas to guide needed reforms.

Let’s make #procurement dollars serve double duty: advancing governments’ work AND incenting employers to improve #jobquality and #equity. @mpopov1229 and @conway_maureen show how this could be done.

Now is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to link a river of public #procurement dollars to raising #jobquality and #equity. In this paper, @mpopov1229 and @conway_maureen share ideas to guide a movement toward reform.

Procurement with Purpose: Improving #JobQuality and #Equity Through Public #Procurement Reform, by @mpopov1229 and @conway_maureen of @AspenJobQuality.

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