Make Work Great Again
We've heard little from the presidential candidates on the thorniest problems facing American workers.
There are stark differences, of course. But on some of the thorniest problems and most worrisome trends facing America's workers and the U.S. economy, we've heard little from the candidates.
Our nation faces serious questions about the long-term direction of the economy and the role of work within it. How will the next president ensure that millennials and their children have the same opportunities for economic security and prosperity through work that previous generations have enjoyed?
For starters, he or she will need to focus on improving the quality of the jobs that will account for a large share of tomorrow's workforce. More than half of the 30 occupations projected to grow the most by 2024 had median wages of roughly $35,000 or less in 2015. And 71 percent of jobs projected to be newly created among top-growing healthcare-related occupations paid even less.
Today, 42 percent of the workforce earn low wages of less than $15 per hour. That's not likely to improve without appropriate interventions, given the continued hollowing-out of middle-income jobs and the rapid growth of low-paid jobs in the caregiving economy to meet the needs of aging baby boomers. How will the candidates ensure that these jobs are good, family-sustaining work?