Let’s start with the obvious: We are experiencing the worst labor market since the Great Depression, if not ever. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the employment-to-population ratio has cratered to a record low 51.3 percent, with nearly 43 million Americans unemployed or underemployed in April. That figure is likely to worsen in May, as about

Labor market monopsony exists when firms can wield outsized power to offer lower wages. Though antitrust enforcement can address monopsony, it isn’t enough; more robust labor regulations and protections are necessary, especially in markets characterized by low concentration and little use of anticompetitive practices. In Antitrust-Plus: Evaluating Additional Policies to Tackle Labor Monopsony, Roosevelt Fellow

The United States has a labor monopsony problem. Though legal tools are already in place to combat monopsony, they have only been used against the most obvious forms of anticompetitive conduct like no-poaching agreements. More generally, there has been virtually no enforcement against abuses of monopsony power in labor markets. In a Roosevelt Institute working

In partnership with the Economic Policy Institute, Roosevelt Research Associate Adil Abdela and Research Director and Fellow Marshall Steinbaum examine the impact of the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile merger on the labor market. Cutting the number of national players in the U.S. wireless industry from four to three, this move would escalate market power in the industry

Last week, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced a sweeping, bold economic policy idea: the LIFT the Middle Class Act. The LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families) Act would essentially be a dramatic expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making it much larger and available to many more Americans. A few days later, the conservative

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2018 CONTACT: Alexander Tucciarone, atucciarone@rooseveltinstitute.org, 516-263-9775   ROOSEVELT INSTITUTE ECONOMIST PRAISES NEW LEGISLATION TACKLING THE EXCESSIVE POWER OF MANAGEMENT IN THE LABOR MARKET Legislation Would Address the Ways Overly-Concentrated Labor Markets Harm Working People, Comes on Heels of New Roosevelt Institute Report on Market Power   NEW YORK, NY —

Labor economists have traditionally focused on worker-side characteristics, such as education, as the crucial causal variable for explaining outcomes like earnings, unemployment, and inequality. But that point of view depends on labor markets remaining competitive, so workers can earn their marginal product of labor—because if they earned less, they’d leave for another job. What a

The problem of labor market monopsony—buyer power among employers—has gotten increasing attention in recent years, including in my 2016 Roosevelt Institute paper with Roosevelt fellow Mike Konczal, in a Council of Economic Advisors issue brief, and in a widely-circulated paper by economist Simcha Barkai. The basic idea of monopsony is that if employers don’t have

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing about the consumer welfare standard to determine whether it is outdated or remains the worthwhile core principle of antitrust enforcement. The hearing comes amid widespread questioning about antitrust’s effectiveness in recent decades. As the debate over the AT&T-Time Warner merger rages, this hearing is particularly timely.