Economic insecurity is a persistent reality for millions of Americans. The promise of steady, secure employment—and the fundamental relationship between employers and employees—has been eroding for decades. Wages have been stagnant since the 1970s, and the rise of contingent labor means that workers can no longer depend on employers for crucial benefits, such as health care and retirement security—or even consistent and predictable work schedules.
How we solve this problem remains the subject of intense debate. To date, the solutions advanced by advocates and policymakers have been driven by often widely disparate diagnoses: Are technological change and globalization driving today’s precarious working conditions? Do workers need to be trained or retrained for the jobs of the future? Or do we need reforms that address the ways in which workers are disempowered in today’s labor market? The answers to these questions will determine if we create economic opportunity for generations to come—or if we exacerbate economic instability and inequality.
In a forthcoming report from the Roosevelt Institute, Left Behind: Snapshots from the 21st Century Labor Market, we suggest that the future of work will be determined by who holds power in the 21st century labor market, and how that power is used to foster a more prosperous and inclusive economy. On October 3, 2018, join some of our nation’s leading experts to dive deeper into the underlying drivers of economic insecurity in today’s economy. Hear their ideas on how we should think about the future of work and how to create shared economic stability and prosperity.
Our panel includes:
Chris Hughes, Economic Security Project
Lenore Palladino, Roosevelt Institute
Marshall Steinbaum, Roosevelt Institute
Maya Raghu, Workplace Equality and National Women’s Law Center
Veronica Avila, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
Bryce Covert (moderator)
Our panel of experts will discuss:
- Why we need to look beyond technological change and globalization when we talk about the future of work;
- Why the well-being of everyday Americans is fundamentally about whether workers have the power to demand more from their employers – and how structural power, such as race and gender discrimination, wields enormous influence over economic security;
- The unique pressures that today’s workers face because of the outsized power that employers hold over employees—and because of the forces that created this imbalance, including corporate concentration; and
- Bold solutions to addressing these problems—in both the short and the long term.