This brief summarizes the Great Recession’s impact on public employment and the public sector job losses driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Our analysis points to the importance of focusing on the public sector as policymakers respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Research & Publications
Steven is known to many across California and nationally in the labor movement. He came to the Labor Center in 2001 from Houston, Texas, where he had received his Ph.D. in economics with an emphasis on urban economics from the University of Houston and had been active as an organizer, activist, and professor.
The Labor Center understands that workers are whole human beings whose lives go beyond their workplace and whose work lives are deeply affected by what happens in their communities. When Black people suffer racist attacks in their communities—whether the attacks come in the form of police and extrajudicial violence, or underfunded public education, or exposure to environmental degradation, or mass incarceration—these are workers’ rights issues.
In this report, we present data for the state of California on the union advantage in wages and employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits for women, workers of color, and immigrants.
RELEASE: Unions raise wages and increase benefits for women, workers of color, and immigrants in California
A new study from UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center) shows that workers in California have higher wages and greater access to benefits when covered by a union contract, and those workers who earn the least in non-union workplaces—women, people of color, and immigrants—gain the most.