Michelle Holder

Michelle Holder is an assistant professor of economics at John Jay College, City University of New York. Prior to joining the John Jay faculty, she worked professionally as an economist for over a decade in both the nonprofit and government sectors. Her research focuses on the position of Blacks in the American labor market, and her economic policy reports have been covered by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Amsterdam News, and El Diario. Her book African American Men and the Labor Market during the Great Recession was released by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. Michelle’s educational background includes master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the New School for Social Research and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Fordham University.
Person looking into unemployment office window

The Department of Labor (DOL) was slated to release the latest data on unemployment filings tomorrow (the announcement is delayed until May 8), figures that will provide a staggering picture of COVID-19’s devastating effects on workers and our economy. Though not unexpected, these findings must shape the strategy, size, and scope for America’s economic recovery. 

Over the last several decades, a rise in worker productivity and flat wages have driven record-high corporate profits in the US. As the private, for-profit sector benefited, economic insecurity has increased and wage gaps persist. This is especially true for Black women, who face both the gender wage gap and the racial wage gap—a reinforcing