The Families and Workers Fund Releases New Report on How the U.S. Can Measure Job Quality, with Support from the U.S. Department of Labor, Ford Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Schmidt Futures
Report provides bold, actionable recommendations for government, philanthropy, business, and the nonprofit sector to invest in, test, and scale job quality measurement
November 8, 2022 – Press Release
Today, the Families and Workers Fund released the Reimagining Job Quality Measurement report to provide bold, actionable recommendations for government, philanthropy, business, and the nonprofit sectors to strengthen how we collect, connect and use data to tell a fuller story about the economy and the experiences of the workers who power it. The report was developed by the Job Quality Measurement Initiative, a collaboration between the Families and Workers Fund, Ford Foundation, Irvine Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Omidyar Network, Schmidt Futures, and the U.S. Department of Labor, along with more than 70 independent experts.
“This effort to measure job quality in a concrete way gives businesses, workers, and policymakers a real tool to meet the needs of employers and working people in this country,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su “With good measurement tools, we can focus not only on more jobs, but on good jobs. And when we have a better understanding of job quality, we can ensure we have an equitable economy that works for everyone.”
To launch the report, Families and Workers Fund is hosting a virtual event at 12 pm ET, November 8, 2022, featuring Stacey Vanek Smith, co-host of NPR’s The Indicator, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su. Other speakers will include Rachel Korberg, Executive Director, the Families and Workers Fund; Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink; Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Evaluation, United States Department of Labor; Susan Houseman, Vice President and Director of Research, W.E. Upjohn Institute of Economic Research; Roy Swan, Director of Mission Investments, Ford Foundation; and Rachel West, Special Assistant to the President for Labor and Workers, Domestic Policy Council, the White House.
“For too long, there has been a gap between how the economy looks on paper and how Americans experience it in their everyday lives. Today, we take a major step toward closing that gap by mapping out concrete, actionable ways job quality can and should be measured,” said Rachel Korberg, Executive Director of the Families and Workers Fund.
“Almost every month during my term as Commissioner of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone asked me how many of the new jobs were good jobs. A dynamic, inclusive economy is based on good jobs, so we need a measure to help us gauge challenges and progress. The Job Quality Measurement Initiative answers this critical need with a serious, comprehensive approach that can help inform discourse and policy through the challenging times ahead,” said Erica Groshen, former U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner
The report proposes 10 Big Ideas to Transform Job Quality Measurement, a list of concrete priorities and technical steps.
- Measure what matters to workers, capturing a full range of job quality indicators such as those outlined in the Aspen Institute and Families and Workers Fund’s Good Jobs Champions Statement endorsed by more than 200 leaders.
- Center equity in measurement, to build on promising, existing efforts that ensure public and private data can be disaggregated by race, gender, and other demographic characteristics to address opportunity gaps.
- Increase mandatory human capital data disclosure. How a company develops, invests in, and treats its workforce is a key indicator of its long-term commercial value, and a growing number of investors are clamoring for better access to this data.
- Link public and private data to gain new insights into the quality of jobs. Standardizing data collection and linking existing datasets in ways that protect privacy can improve government effectiveness in addressing disparities and improving outcomes for workers.
- Leverage business data to demonstrate the return on investment from good jobs by providing employers seeking new ways to attract and retain talent with incentives and pathways to share and use their data.
- Revise data systems to include and support the non-W2 workforce. Systematically collecting data on the growing and undercounted contract workforce will shed light on their working conditions and needs.
- Strengthen workforce system metrics to deliver results for workers and businesses. By measuring and rewarding job quality, the vast public workforce development system can encourage employers to provide economy-boosting jobs and improve outcomes for workers.
- Use public and private spending to measure and strengthen equity and good jobs. By collecting and using job quality data in procurement, government agencies, anchor institutions, and philanthropies can use their massive buying power to support millions of quality jobs.
- Strengthen state and local capacity for data-driven decision-making to advance good jobs. Providing support and incentives to the public sector can strengthen their data capacities and drive more effective, equitable policies and programs.
- Invest in strengthening job quality measurement. Philanthropy – along with government and business partners – can seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that our national measurement systems truly reflect the needs and experiences of working people.
More systematically measuring job quality will not only help to uplift workers, but also can improve government effectiveness, equip businesses with better tools to attract and retain talent, and help to address racial and gender opportunity gaps.
“When we adequately measure job quality in a manner that accounts for the historical and current harms that Black workers face, we will be better equipped to replace an unfair labor market with one that guarantees all Black workers will have high-quality employment on their path to economic prosperity,” said Alexander Camardelle, Director of Workforce Policy at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
About the Families and Workers Fund
The Families and Workers Fund is a coalition of diverse philanthropies working to help repair and reimagine the systems that fuel economic security, opportunity and mobility. By deploying funding and building partnerships, the Fund seeks to advance jobs that sustain and uplift people and invest in developing a more inclusive, effective public benefits system.
Sumaq Alvarado del Aguila – Communications & Philanthropy Associate