Jess Forden

Jess Forden is a Senior Program Associate at the Roosevelt Institute, where she works on the 21st Century Economy and Economic Inclusion programs. Jess assists with research and projects on labor markets, modern work arrangements, and the intersection of race and gender in the economy. Prior to joining Roosevelt, Jess received her B.A. from Wellesley College where she studied economics. Previously she has held summer positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development, West Bank & Gaza where she supported the private enterprise office with local economic development projects.

This week, I want to share a NYT opinion piece on the many ways our current government has consistently undermined the labor movement and extended advantages to employers—at the detriment of workers. I recommend following that up with this other piece that looks more specifically at the rise of contract workers and the challenges they

Workers are increasingly powerless in today’s economy. The decades-long assault on the voice and agency of American workers continues to erode their position under employers: Declining unionization rates, the proliferation of noncompete and arbitration clauses, and outsized employer power plague labor markets today. Additionally, an increasingly fissured workplace is yet one more challenge our most

Every year during Women’s History Month, we celebrate the strides that women have made throughout history. In the fight for dignity and equity on the job, the government played a crucial—albeit imperfect—role in ensuring that women today are better off than their sisters of past generations. Yet, workplace equality remains out of reach for many.

In Left Behind: Snapshots from the 21st Century Labor Market, Roosevelt Program Director Rakeen Mabud and Program Associate Jess Forden explore today’s changing economy and the future of work through the lens of six occupations: carework, food service, manufacturing, mining, nursing, and trucking. Despite a seemingly robust and healthy economy, as indicated by headline measures

Increased monopsony in labor markets has allowed corporations to gain outsized power over individuals, leaving workers with less agency over the choices in their lives. Labor market monopsony refers to the concentration of employers and the resulting power they have to shape labor markets to their advantage. More concentration leads to fewer employers who offer