The Workforce Development Field or a Conduit for Maintaining Systemic Racism?
Not many people can say they deliberately chose the field of workforce development as a career path. Yet many amazing and formidable people have contributed to the growth and development of this field, despite its original focus: supporting white, dislocated workers.
Opportunity Occupations and the Future of Work
From 19th-century workers smashing textile factory machines to John Maynard Keynes's musing on technological unemployment, worries and passions about machines replacing workers are hundreds of years old. More recently, robots and computers (through artificial intelligence) are replacing a growing number of human skills, and this has become an important topic of conversation in public policy. It is also increasingly on the minds of workers and students making decisions about their investments in skills and career preparation.
Hiring Difficulties across Industries and Location
In the current tight labor market with low levels of unemployment, it is not surprising that a large share of firms experience difficulty hiring candidates for open positions. However, much is unclear about the extent of these difficulties, their underlying reasons, and how firms respond. Using data from the Federal Reserve Banks' national 2017 Small Business Credit Survey, a recent paper examines the nature of firms' hiring difficulties and how they vary by industry and geographic location. The paper also explores how the reasons behind hiring difficulties relate to firms' responses. The ...
Policies to Close the Southern Skills Gap
Southern states have a number of economic and demographic characteristics that make them unique from the rest of the country—and increase the need to build skills to advance economic development in the region.
COVID-19, Workers, and Policy
As coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) spreads around the world and across the United States, many policymakers and public health officials are encouraging employers to tell workers to work remotely or to stay home when they or their family members are sick. There are significant questions, though, about how many people can work from home. Many U.S. workers in retail, restaurants, manufacturing, and other occupations cannot do so. This Workforce Currents post will explore who can work from home and identify practices and policies to support workers who cannot work from home in the event of a pandemic ...
Racial Disparities in the Labor Market
Current research tells us that racial gaps in wages, employment, and labor participation have widened over recent decades. Many factors contribute to these disparities, including difficult to measure dynamics like discrimination, criminal conviction history, and skills gaps.
Opportunity Occupations in the Southeast
Opportunity occupations—or opportunity employment—are jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree and pay above a regionally adjusted median wage. This article takes a look at trends in the Southeast. For a deeper look at trends in opportunity occupations, see also "Opportunity Occupations Revisited: Exploring Employment for Sub-Baccalaureate Workers Across Metro Areas and Over Time."
Career Pathways in a Changing Labor Market
Recently, labor economists, workforce development policy analysts, and workforce development practitioners gathered at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to examine the effects of automation and shifting labor demands on the future of work. Presenters included Dan Restuccia of Burning Glass Technologies, Sara Lamback of Jobs for the Future, Daniel Kreisman of Georgia State University, Chad Shearer of the Brookings Institution, Susan Lund of McKinsey Global Institute, and Nancey Green Leigh and Ben Kraft of Georgia Institute of Technology. The researchers collected data from job postings, ...
Early Childhood Education and the Economy
A child's first few years provide a strong foundation for future development. Early childhood education programs can increase future labor force productivity, decrease societal costs, and ultimately lead to a stronger economy.
The Failure of Big Data to Address Problems in the Workforce during the COVID-19 Era
The COVID-19-driven recession has devastated the U.S. labor market and American workers. In March 2020, in the span of a month, initial unemployment weekly claims increased from 216,000 (U.S. Department of Labor 2020c) to a peak of 6.8 million, setting new records for unemployment since the Great Depression (U.S. Department of Labor 2020a). The total insured unemployment rate increased from 1.2 percent on March 14 to 14.8 percent on May 16, which translates to about 22 million unemployed (U.S. Department of Labor 2020b).