April 9, 2014
Book Talk: "Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People"
A book talk and signing presented by Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, with discussant Andrew Atkeson, UCLA Economics.
While most people intuitively know that low unemployment is important to job seekers, they may not realize that high levels of employment actually would make an enormous difference in the lives of large segments of the workforce who already have jobs. Particularly in an era of historically high wage and income inequality, many in the workforce depend on full employment labor markets, and the bargaining power it provides, to secure a fair share of the economy’s growth. For the bottom third or even half of the wage distribution, high levels of employment are a necessary condition for improving wages, higher incomes, and better working conditions.
Getting Back to Full Employment, co-authored by Jared Bernstein and Dean Baker, shows that real wage growth for workers in the bottom half of the income scale is highly dependent on the overall rate of unemployment and that full employment would lead to improved fiscal conditions. The authors also present a broad set of policies designed to boost growth and get the unemployment rate down to a level where far more workers have a fighting chance of getting ahead.
This event is presented by UCLA's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) and cosponsored by the Department of Economics.