This month’s “Expert Focus” from Washington Center for Equitable Growth highlights leaders in the field of the future of work who are examining technology’s impact on workers and the U.S. economy. Learn more about the work of Annette Bernhardt and and other leading researchers in the field.
Future of Work & Workers
Research & Publications
We provide an overview of existing research that attempts to measure the prevalence of employers’ use of workplace management technologies – i.e., technologies that are used to monitor, evaluate, or make predictions about workers, or assist or augment their tasks.
The UC Berkeley Labor Center has released a report on how and why employers in key industries are deploying new technologies, and what effects these changes could have on workers. The report, “Technological change in five industries: Threats to jobs, wages, and working conditions,” synthesizes the findings from studies released by the Labor Center and Working Partnerships USA from 2018 to 2022. The report concludes that technology’s effects on job quality – like wages and working conditions – should be just as big of a concern as its effects on the total number of jobs available.
Understanding how technological changes may unfold in different industries is essential for developing effective solutions to the challenges that workers face. In this report, we synthesize the findings of five industry studies: trucking, warehouses, health care, retail, and food delivery.
In this report, we leverage recent innovations in analyzing tax data to shed new light on the prevalence and characteristics of independent contracting in California.
November 29, 2022
Expert Focus: Studying the future of work and technology’s impact on workers
March 1, 2022
Independent Contracting in California: An Analysis of Trends and Characteristics Using Tax Data
April 7, 2022
Will Amazon’s first union have something to say about surveillance tech?
November 3, 2021
Data and Algorithms at Work: The Case for Worker Technology Rights
April 19, 2021
Ensuring Worker Rights and Promoting Equity in the Use of New Workplace Technologies
Prop 22 and the Rideshare Industry
October 4, 2021
Labor Center Research on the Rideshare Industry
September 29, 2021
Massachusetts Uber/Lyft Ballot Proposition Would Create Subminimum Wage: Drivers Could Earn as Little as $4.82 an Hour
January 15, 2021
Prop 22 Is Here, and It’s Already Worse Than Expected
May 7, 2020
What would Uber and Lyft owe to the State Unemployment Insurance Fund?
October 31, 2019
The Uber/Lyft Ballot Initiative Guarantees only $5.64 an Hour
Gig companies pledge to help end hunger in the U.S. Some of their workers can’t afford the food they deliver.
A study from UC Berkeley’s Labor Center and a recent one backed by gig workers suggest hourly wages — which are based on the time when a worker is actively engaged on the app and do not include total working time — could be as low as under $10.
Under Biden’s proposed rule, “There is a very strong case that gig workers are misclassified,” Jacobs wrote in an email to Capital & Main. “The proposed rule would make it easier to prove misclassification in industries with a long history of misclassification, like janitorial, trucking and construction.”
The memo cited a variety of research, legal cases and news stories on the subject. One citation is a 2021 report from researchers at the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center that detailed the use of data and algorithms to analyze worker productivity, automate hiring processes and monitor activity.