Since the end of the Great Recession, almost 12 million jobs have been created — but most have been in low-wageoccupations and at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants. Average wages for working Americans have dropped 23 percent. It’s become clear that job creation does not equate to lasting economic change. In order to reverse the troubling trends we’re seeing, we no longer find it defensible to focus on job creation alone. We must shift our focus to the creation of higher quality jobs that are good for workers and their families, good for businesses, and good for communities.
We are excited to share with you our latest discussion paper: Moving Beyond Job Creation: Defining and Measuring the Creation of Quality Jobs.
Moving Beyond Job Creation has been made possible thanks to the support of the Surdna Foundation, and is the result of a year and a half of extensive research on the topic of quality job creation. The paper is the first in a series of research under PCV’s new vision to make quality job creation the norm, and builds on our ten plus years of experience working with clients like CalPERS, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Northern California Community Loan Fund to help them measure and better understand their impact.
At the outset of this project, we sought to answer two important questions central to the creation of quality jobs:
1) What is a quality job, and
2) How can you measure job quality?
Our research is intended to support our peers in the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry who, through their financing, have served low-income and other disadvantaged communities for two decades. While the CDFI industry has been instrumental in supporting job creation across the U.S., we believe that now is the time to focus greater attention on the quality of the jobs created in order to combat rising income and wealth inequality.
Through a better understanding of what defines a quality job and a set of practical methods for measuring the quality of jobs created, we believe CDFIs and others in the impact investing community will be better positioned to make more effective investments that support good jobs for workers, businesses, and communities.
A detailed analysis of economic development budgets in three diverse states—Florida, Missouri, and New Mexico—finds that at least 68 percent of overall state economic development spending goes to large companies and programs that support those companies. Only a small fraction of state funds—typically about 19 percent—goes to small companies and programs that support their operations. The remaining 13 percent of state spending could not be classified as primarily benefiting large or small companies as program rules were open to companies of any size and programs lacked adequate transparency.
In other words, the economic development budgets of these states are dominated by assistance to large and better-established companies. Far fewer resources are committed to the creation or growth of smaller businesses, despite the fact that they are far more numerous–99.7 percent of all employers nationally have fewer than 500 employees and employ about half of the nation’s private workforce–are disproportionate job creators, and are in the greatest need of help, suffering a persistent credit crunch that is hampering U.S. economic growth.
Published By: Good Jobs First
The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs announced results of a survey examining the diversity of staff and leadership at City‐funded nonprofit cultural organizations. The survey release marks a major milestone in the agency’s initiative to promote and cultivate diversity in the cultural community, building on the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to making New York City a more fair and equitable city for every resident. The survey found that while New York City’s cultural sector is far more diverse than cultural organizations on the national level, it lags behind the demographic diversity of the city’s population.
Published By: The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
Download Related Document(s): Diversity and Equity in NYC's Cultural Workforce
The Cooperative Growth Ecosystem framework presents the recent wave of worker cooperative development as a timely, high-potential strategy for inclusive, place-based community economic development. The Democracy at Work Institute, a Surdna Foundation grantee, and Project Equity developed this framework to engage diverse actors across the private, public, nonprofit and financial sectors in exploring how they can work together to catalyze worker co-op development that creates quality jobs and wealth-building opportunities for low- and moderate-income workers.
Published By: The Democracy at Work Institute
Download Related Document(s):The Cooperative Growth Ecosystem
The boards of directors of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks are important decision-makers and influencers of national monetary policy. Designed to bring voices from diverse economic perspectives to the table, Federal Reserve directors have historically—and dramatically—failed to adequately represent communities, consumers, employees, women, and people of color.
This report, published by the Center for Popular Democracy, a Surdna Foundation grantee, analyzes the current diversity—in terms of economic sector, gender, and racial representation—of head-office regional Federal Reserve Bank boards and finds that there is:
• Insufficient sectoral diversity on regional boards
• Banking and commercial sectors have increased their already-outsized share of board seats since the most recent GAO study of this issue, in 2011.
• Representation of the service sector has shrunk, despite the sector’s growth.
• Organizations governed by community members and employees continue to represent less than five percent of all seats.
Inadequate racial and gender representation on regional boards
• While 63 percent of the nation’s population is white, 83 percent of Federal Reserve board members are white.
• Similarly, men make up nearly three-fourths of all board members, despite constituting 49 percent of the US population.
The lack of diversity at the boards generates a lack of diversity among the regional presidents and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)
• While many of the Federal Reserve Bank presidents have spent their entire careers staffing the Federal Reserve and/or bodies of federal government, banking is the next most common career path to a Fed presidency. For instance, one-fourth of current presidents had strong ties to Goldman Sachs before becoming a regional Bank president.
• Ninety-two percent of presidents and 100 percent of voting FOMC members are white.
• Eighty-three percent of presidents and 60 percent of voting FOMC members are men.
These findings show a significant lack of representation. Therefore, we propose concrete solutions that the Board of Governors and the regional banks can implement immediately:
• Each regional board should include among its Class B and Class C directors at least one member from a labor organization.
• Each regional board should include among its Class B and Class C directors at least one member from a community organization with operations primarily within the region and in which community members participate in governance.
• Each regional board should include among its Class B and Class C directors at least one member from a university or a policy think tank. Currently, 6 regional board members are attached to academic institutions in various capacities, and some regions make a regular practice of including academics. This is a best practice that can be built upon.
• Each regional board should include among its Class A directors a member from a community bank, community financial development institution, or credit union.
In addition to these changes, future board appointments and elections should move aggressively toward more reflective racial and gender representation.
Today, as low-income communities and residents of color engage in building the power to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs met, federal and state laws impose a wealth of public-engagement requirements. These laws provide an important legal hook for holding government accountable, but the truth is that successful public engagement is rarely due to the initiative of agency officials. On the contrary, public engagement succeeds because residents come together powerfully to influence decisions that affect them.
From these campaigns, the authors of this October 2015 paper highlight three strategies that contributed to success in leveraging public-participation requirements for building power and winning concrete outcomes: (1) developing a shared policy agenda, (2) tackling the structure of the process, and (3) integrating “inside” and “outside” strategies.
Published By: Clearinghouse
Download Related Document(s): Seizing the Power of Public Participation
The Democracy at Work Institute, a Surdna Foundation grantee, the Cooperative Fund of New England, and Project Equity recently partnered to release an FAQ and case studies about worker coop conversion financing: The Lending Opportunity of a Generation: FAQs and Case Studies for Investing in Businesses Converting to Worker Ownership.
The publication offers lenders an introduction on how to finance the largest generational wealth transfer in history, as baby boomers leave their businesses to the next generation.
New members need basic training on how to own and operate their business cooperatively, but many workplaces don't have a standard curriculum or time to invent one from scratch. DAWI has created a set of New Member Orientation Templates to lay the groundwork for orienting new members. These templates can be used as-is for a general orientation, adapted by workplaces and developers to meet specific needs, or tailored by DAWI upon request.
Published By: Democracy at Work Institute
Download Related Document(s): The Lending Opportunity of a Generation: FAQs and Case Studies for Investing in Businesses Converting to Worker Ownership.
In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by. This situation is created in part by the practices of traditional economic development. Current trends threaten to worsen, unless we can answer the design challenge before us. Can we create an economic system—beginning at the local level—that builds the wealth and prosperity of everyone.
Published By: Democracy Collaborative
This study advances a policy framework capable of supporting a major revival of the United States manufacturing sector. We are especially focused on the prospects for greatly expanding good job opportunities for U.S. workers that would result through the revival of the U.S. manufacturing sector. We focus, further, on using one set of policy tools—U.S. public sector purchases of manufactured goods, or procurement policies—to promote growth and expanding job opportunities within one manufacturing industry, i.e. the production of railcar transportation equipment. We show how some significant, though still straightforward, reforms of the official U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) procurement program known as Buy America are capable of generating major benefits to domestic railcar manufacturers as well as to workers in this sector.
Of course, improving the DOT’s Buy America program is only one of several policy initiatives that are needed to support a U.S. manufacturing revival, in the railcar industry and more generally.
Other important measures that are needed in behalf of the U.S. manufacturing sector
include 1) research and development support; 2) targeted credit policies; 3) better job training programs and job ladders within firms; and 4) more support for developing regional manufacturing eco-systems, which help form mutually supportive local supply chains.
Procurement policies can play a central role among these various initiatives. This is because they are the means through which the government can help establish more stable domestic markets for U.S. manufacturing firms. This, in turn, enables the firms to operate with longer time horizons, which creates an environment supportive of innovation and building a skilled and stable workforce.
Published By: Department of Economics and Political Economy Research Institute, University Of Massachusetts-Amherst
Download Related Document(s): Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing Through Public Procurement Policies
Ending Jim Crow in America’s Restaurants: Racial and Gender Occupational Segregation in the Restaurant Industry.
Published By: ROC United
Download Related Document(s): Ending Jim Crow in America’s Restaurants: Racial and Gender Occupational Segregation in the Restaurant Industry
Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.