CEPR regularly publishes a curated collection of original research from academic institutions and nonprofits on the state of the US labor market. The compilation is part of our ongoing effort to promote informed debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)

Policy Basics: How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available? 

The federal-state unemployment insurance system provides temporary income support for many people when they lose their jobs. But how many weeks of compensation are available for those that lose their job? It depends on the state. Most states offer the standard maximum of 26 weeks, but others may offer fewer or extended periods of compensation based on various criteria (e.g., unemployment rate). See how many weeks of unemployment compensation each state offers.

Precarious Work Schedules Could Jeopardize Access to Safety Net Programs Targeted by Work Requirements

Businesses that use just-in-time scheduling practices can put low-wage workers at risk of losing social benefits. These scheduling practices make for unpredictable and unstable workers hours and may result in many participants in federal safety net programs falling short of the required minimum number of hours to qualify for benefits. This report, using a unique data set, found that such irregular work schedules do place workers at risk of noncompliance with work requirements. 

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Young Workers in Nonstandard Work Arrangements, 2005-2017

This report builds on earlier analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Economic Policy Institute released in February 2019, but this one pays special attention to younger workers, ages 21 to 25, with a college degree and with less than a college degree, between 2005 and 2017. The report helps to develop a concrete picture of what has changed for this cohort, which can inform a research and policy agenda that will improve their opportunities in the labor market. Overall, young workers with a college degree are doing quite well with significant gains in employment since 2005; however, their median earnings have not improved. Young workers with less than a college degree, on the other hand, have not fared as well.  Although wages for noncollege grads have increased modestly since 2005, employment growth has been less robust than the workforce overall, and close to one-third were working in part-time jobs in 2017. 

Economic Policy Institute (EPI)

Maximizing job-creation bang-for-buck by reducing import leakages

Public polling indicates Americans, regardless of party, widely support major infrastructure investment. This report argues that major infrastructure investments would increase demand for American manufacturing goods, create more American manufacturing jobs, and reduce the trade deficit in the process. The report estimates the impact of an infrastructure investment plan of $500 billion per year on American manufacturing job creation. 

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Employee Costs of Corporate Bankruptcy

This research paper by John R. Graham, Hyunseob Kim, Si Li, and Jiaping Qiu examined the impact bankruptcy has on employee earnings. Using regression analysis, the authors found that employee earnings decrease by 10 percent in the same year of a bankruptcy filing and 67 percent in present value over seven years. Even a fall in the credit rating of the company can have an effect on wage differentials that are not taken into consideration in corporate capital structure decisions. The authors also regress employee earnings on firm leverage, controlling for firm- and worker-level characteristics, and find highly levered firms pay lower wages when under financial distress. 

National Employment Law Project (NELP) 

Exposing Wage Theft Without Fear: States Must Protect Workers from Retaliation 

The weakness of labor unions has left workers with less voice and fewer protections against employers, particularly when it comes to retaliation. Although workers can file a complaint or lawsuit against their employer through enforcement agencies and the courts, the burden is on the worker to come forward to file the complaint. Retaliation by the employer may take any number of forms whether demotion, reduced work hours, or even termination. This report notes that retaliation is one of “the most pressing and persistent challenges.” Therefore, in order to protect workers’ rights, they also must be protected from employer retaliation.