The Value of All Work

September 1, 2022

And our recommended Labor Day reads.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

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:


What We’re Reading

The Red-Hot Labor Market Has Helped Boost UnionsWashington Post

How Unions Are Winning Again, in 4 Charts – Vox

California Tries Something Novel: Enhancing Worker PowerThe American Prospect