The Value of All Work
September 1, 2022
Celebrating Worker Wins
On Labor Day, we recognize the contributions of all workers, and the enduring achievements of the labor movement—in raising wages, protecting dignity, and building power.
And this Labor Day, there’s a lot to celebrate.
We’re experiencing a “labor market [that] has not been this strong for workers this early in a recovery in generations,” as Roosevelt’s Mike Konczal has written.
We’ve seen millions of new jobs, wage increases for those at the bottom of the income distribution, and real—though incomplete and still vulnerable—gains for Black workers.
And amid major wins for the labor movement, from Amazon to Starbucks, US public support for unions has risen to 71 percent.
In honor of workers, unions, and all who have fought for these wins, we share the poignant words of Alí Bustamante, deputy director of our Worker Power and Economic Security program:
Every day, millions of people work to make our society prosper, but their contributions are largely taken for granted. The focus on markets and capital obscures the fact that every good and service we consume to fulfill our needs and wants is the product of someone’s time and effort. Acknowledging the value of all work—paid and unpaid—is essential to understanding our own humanity and our shared responsibility to support all workers.
Worker Power Reads
In recent months, Roosevelt experts have examined the economic recovery, the labor market it’s created, and the policies we need for a high-care, low-carbon future.
Catch up now:
- “Three Ways the American Rescue Plan Changed Economic Policymaking” by Mike Konczal
- “Family-Friendly Policies and the Motherhood Employment Gap during the COVID-19 Recovery” by Joana Duran-Franch and Ira Regmi
- “Workforce Policy for a Just Transition” by Alí Bustamante
- More than Consumers: Post-Neoliberal Identities and Economic Governance by Suzanne Kahn
What We’re Reading
The Red-Hot Labor Market Has Helped Boost Unions – Washington Post
How Unions Are Winning Again, in 4 Charts – Vox
California Tries Something Novel: Enhancing Worker Power – The American Prospect