Focusing on our rapidly changing economy, the 21st Century Economy project reimagines how government, civil, and business institutions can provide opportunity and security for all Americans.

The United States is at a point of significant economic transformation—presenting both opportunities and challenges for working Americans. Some see the continued disaggregation of workplaces and workplace benefits as heralding further decline of the American middle class at great economic and social cost. Others believe that in a future of rapid change and democratized technology, more Americans will control their own lives—perhaps identifying as entrepreneurs as opposed to workers—and the economy will thrive. While the twin forces of technology and globalization are powerful and transformative, their impacts are not predestined. Their effects will be determined by the degree to which new institutions expand opportunity—across race, class, gender, and geography —and mitigate against increased insecurity.

The Roosevelt Institute’s 21st Century Economy work tackles the need for a new social contract that regulates contemporary business practices, provides economic security to a larger swath of Americans, and invests in long-term prosperity for communities across the country. This includes exploring topics such as a Universal Basic Income, portable benefits, and new models for worker organizing.

How do we get to the “Good Economy”?

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Technological developments are casting doubt on the role of universities as the primary mediator between skilled workers and labor market opportunity.

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Google’s self-driving car has already driven more than 1 million miles

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80%

Share of the U.S. population living in urban areas as of 2010.

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New Brief: Crossed Lines: Why the AT&T-Time Warner merger demands a new approach to antitrust

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In 2015, the U.S. economy stands at the precipice of a transformation on par with the Industrial Revolution.

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In the U.S., more businesses are closing than are being created. The rate of new business formation has been in decline for more than a decade.

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“The cloud is a computational enabler for the creation of entirely new workplaces and new markets for work.”

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30%

Share of the workforce composed of Independent contractors.

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