Low-wage jobs are a growing part of the US economy. From March 2012 to February 2013, Reinventing Low-Wage Work: Ideas that Can Work for Employees, Employers and the Economy explored issues specific to industry sectors that employ large numbers of low-wage workers, including the restaurant, long-term care, retail, residential construction, and domestic work industries. The series, led by the Economic Opportunities Program, advanced conversations at the Aspen Institute about the nature of low-wage work, the challenges it presents to workers, businesses and the economy, and the opportunities we have for addressing these challenges. Discussions included:
- Better Care through Better Jobs: Improving Training and Employment for Direct Care Workers
- From Fast Food to Fine Cuisine: A Discussion on Work in the Restaurant Industry
- From Jobs to Job Quality: Ideas for Improving Low Wage Work
- Home Economics: A Discussion about the Unregulated World of Domestic Work
- Taking Inventory of Retail Jobs: A Discussion on Work in the Retail Industry
- The Housing Market’s Foundation: A Discussion on the Workforce in Residential Construction
In addition, the Workforce Strategies Initiative released four briefs on work in the direct-care, residential construction, restaurant, and retail industries including profiles of organizations working to improve job quality in those industries.
- Profiles of the Direct-Care Workforce and PHI
- Profiles of the Residential Construction Workforce and the Workers Defense Project
- Profiles of the Restaurant Workforce and Restaurant Opportunities Center-United
- Profiles of the Retail Workforce and the Retail Action Project
Since the conclusion of this series, the Economic Opportunities Program has developed a separate and related series, Working in America, which highlights an array of critical employment and job quality issues affecting low and moderate-income American workers.