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Center for Labor Research and Education


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JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Policy Research Specialist (Associate/Full Specialist)


The UC Berkeley Labor Center, at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), UC Berkeley, has openings for multiple policy research specialists. Founded in 1964, the UC Berkeley Labor Center works on the most pressing economic challenges affecting working families in California and communities across the country. The Labor Center provides timely, policy-relevant research on labor and employment issues for policymakers and stakeholders, and conducts training for a new and diverse generation of worker leaders and students.

The policy research specialists will conduct policy-relevant research on low-wage work and a diverse set of policies that affect working families, immigrants, and communities of color in California and across the country. At least one of the positions will involve quantitative research.

These positions offer an exciting opportunity to be part of a high-impact, high-visibility organization and to work with a nationally-recognized team of researchers, policy analysts, and academics.

Responsibilities include:

  • Contributing to the low-wage work and future of work teams at the Labor Center, conducting academic and policy-related research relevant to low-wage workers and working families
  • Research methods include one or both of the following:
    • Quantitative research, including statistical analyses drawing on government datasets, academic research and industry trade data;
    • Qualitative research, including field interviews, focus groups, and analysis of secondary sources;
  • Providing technical assistance to stakeholders, policy makers, media and internal staff on issues related to low-wage work, labor standards, and other labor and employment topics;
  • Coordinating research with academic researchers on other UC Campuses;
  • Serving as co-author on research reports and policy briefs, and drafting op-eds and public testimony;
  • Contributing to funding proposals for research projects.

Basic qualifications (required at time of application):

  • Master’s degree or equivalent international degree

Additional qualifications (required at start date):

  • 3 years professional experience

Preferred qualifications:

  • Master’s or equivalent degree in sociology, economics, industrial relations, geography or a related field, plus 3 years experience in research or policy (can be before the degree);
  • Experience conducting labor market analyses of wages and other job quality outcomes, the role of race, gender and immigration status, and firm and industry dynamics;
  • Demonstrated research skills in one or both of the following areas:
    • Strong quantitative skills and experience in working with large government datasets such as the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey, as well as strong STATA and/or R programming skills;
    • Strong qualitative skills and experience conducting interviews with a range of stakeholders, focus groups, and analysis of secondary sources;
  • A strong grounding in labor standards policies in the US;
  • Strong writing skills, geared toward policy research reports;
  • Experience working with academic researchers and stakeholders such as unions, worker centers, faith-based organizations, accountable development advocates, and others;
  • Ability to work independently and creatively;

Additional preferred qualifications for full Specialist level:

  • PhD with some relevant experience in policy research.

Position will be full-time, salary will be commensurate with experience. Expected start date is as soon as possible.

Application Procedures:
To apply, go to: Contact information for 3 references are required; however, letters of reference are not required at this time. We will seek your permission before contacting your references. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

These positions will remain open until filled. Please address any inquiries to Anhara Alexander at

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see

Berkeley, CA

Document requirements
Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.

Cover Letter

Two (2) writing samples

Statement of Research (Optional)

Reference requirements
3 required (contact information only)