In 2017, over 15 million workers (about 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce) were in alternative work arrangements. In this economic analysis, Ryan Nunn and Jimmy O'Donnell explore the characteristics of these workers, analyze their unique economic outcomes, and assess policy reforms that can help provide more security for these workers.
In this strategy paper, The Hamilton Project explores the decline in U.S. LFPR as well as patterns by age, gender, race, and education. We then assess potential explanations and describe numerous Hamilton Project policy proposals that would raise labor force participation.
The Hamilton Project finds that changing employment and school enrollment patterns have contributed to declining labor force participation among youth, aged 16 to 24.
The Hamilton Project finds that the decline in private sector union membership is economically important for the future of labor. Unions can lift wages, reduce inequality and shape how work is organized, among other effects.
Slowdowns in the economy are inevitable. While it may be tempting to rely on Federal Reserve policy as a lone response to recessions, this would be a mistake; we know that fiscal stimulus is effective. Rather than wait for a crisis to strike before designing discretionary fiscal policy, we would be better served by preparing in advance. Enacting evidence-based automatic stabilizer proposals before the next recession will help the next recovery start faster, make job creation stronger, and restore confidence to businesses and households.
Low recipiency rates and an imperfect Extended Benefits program weaken the unemployment insurance program’s effectiveness during recessions. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich and John Coglianese propose five reforms to strengthen the automatic stabilization functions of the unemployment insurance system.