Want to Know What’s Going On in Our Economy? Talk to Workers.

The Biden administration has created more jobs in the first term of a presidency than any other presidency in American history — and just three weeks before the midterm elections, his administration is not shy about touting those unprecedented job numbers.

And yet the president’s approval ratings continue to lag, and many Democrats running for election across the country find themselves behind their Republican opponents. In the midst of one of the strongest post-recession recoveries in modern history, why is such a positive employment narrative falling on deaf ears?

Well, as Stan Greenberg mention, thatpeople are not just looking any Work. With COVID still spreading and inflation ramping up, they are looking for jobs that pay better, are safer, and are more respected. If you speak to professionals on a regular basis, a lot will sound intuitive. But that’s the problem — journalists, policymakers, and even economists who proclaim themselves experts on the labor market haven’t really bothered to ask workers how they are doing or what they want.

Not understanding what is actually If we continue with workers in our labor markets, there is a risk that more bad policy decisions will be made in the future.

Without regular touchpoints with workers, we rely on anecdotal stories, BLS data releases or, more alarmingly, the word of employers to inform us about how workers are faring in the labor market. Not only do these paint an incomplete picture of voters’ mindset and priorities on critical issues, they can also generate and spread disinformation.

READ :  Connected Economy: Grubhub, Gopuff Expand Offerings

Take last summer when corporate and conservative state legislators were across the country spread lies that the expanded unemployment insurance benefits included in the American Rescue Plan were a major driver in keeping workers out of work (they weren’t). The big business solution was to end welfare early and leave the unemployed with a quandary — either take a soul-wrecking job or stay out of the labor market without the support needed to stay afloat. The result: The workers who returned to work were forced into jobs where the extra wages were less than the modest benefits they received, leaving households with less money to spend and weakening the local economy.

Not understanding what is actually If we continue with workers in our labor markets, there is a risk that more bad policy decisions will be made in the future. But there is an obvious solution to this problem: an employee survey.

A Worker Sentiment Survey would be a nationally representative monthly survey aimed at reaching out to workers – employed and unemployed – to better understand how they feel about their current employment, the challenges they face in the workplace , and feel their feelings towards the labor market. and their future career prospects and ambitions. A survey of this nature would take a multi-pronged approach: it would help us learn more about workers’ current employment (what is their current salary? Is their company unionized?); better capture a worker’s actual experiences in their job (Would you feel comfortable asking for a raise? Do you feel empowered to unionize in your job?); and help us understand an employee’s general feelings about their long-term job prospects and those of their employer and industry.

READ :  The Stock Market Is Bottoming Out. This Democrat Thinks Her Party Saved The Economy.

Think of it as a companion to Consumer Sentiment Survey– a monthly survey published by the University of Michigan asking individual consumers questions about their own personal financial situation, as well as their feelings about the economy in general and their belief in the direction in which public policy is taking them.

The Consumer Sentiment Survey is based on the belief that the way people perceive or experience the economy as consumers can say a lot about the actual economy itself. We currently collect a large amount of aggregate data on attrition rates, unemployment claims and job growth, but we do not collect official data on job quality or job satisfaction. Surveying workers, who often have more insight into their particular company or industry than the average consumer, could be a source of even more important information about the health of our economy — and help predict recessions or other big shifts in the job market.

A survey of worker sentiment could also serve as a powerful tool to promote greater equity in the workplace by deepening our understanding of how inequalities between race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender and gender identity play out. For example, we know of extensive research that there is racial discrimination in hiring; and that black and Hispanic workers face structural barriers to finding and retaining jobs. A worker survey would help us understand what additional barriers marginalized workers experience in the workplace. What difficulties do people of color face when communicating with their peers? Or their superiors?

How do women in the workforce approach their careers differently when women’s rights are under attack by the Supreme Court and in states across the country? With increasing public anger towards members of the LGBTQ+ community, a worker survey could also shed light on how this is affecting the workforce.

READ :  Germany's Emerging War Economy - East African Business Week

If a worker-focused survey had been conducted before the pandemic, we might have gotten a better sense of the deep dissatisfaction felt by many workers across all industries, and better understood that so many of the people left their jobs in the early days the pandemic didn’t leave work entirely, just off Poorly Work. Perhaps our response then would have blamed employers for creating better jobs, rather than forcing workers to settle down.

Workers are the heart of our economy; they sit at the interface between the well-being of individual households and the health of businesses large and small. Understanding how workers are really doing gives us an important perspective on how the economy actually works – or doesn’t work – for millions of people. It’s time to listen to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *