This blog post highlights some of the findings from our just-released update to our chartbook “California’s labor market in the times of COVID-19,” which explores labor market trends in California over the past two historic years.
December 16, 2021
Job Opening: Research and Policy Associate
May 18, 2022
California’s Labor Market in the Time of COVID-19
May 12, 2022
Low-Wage Work in California Data Explorer
January 10, 2022
The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the US Construction Industry
January 20, 2022
Help taxpayers by cleaning up the construction industry
Research & Publications
Today, the UC Berkeley Labor Center released an update to its data tool, “California’s Labor Market Two Years into the Pandemic: 2022 Chartbook.” The chartbook provides researchers, policymakers, journalists, and the public with an in-depth look at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers and the labor market in California based on the most recently available data.
This data tool tracks the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers in California, and how the state is recovering from these effects. The pandemic left millions of Californians out of work, and while the economy has begun to recover in recent months, some workers continue to struggle. This resource will be updated periodically, as new data becomes available, to allow users to monitor the progress of labor markets in the state. Last updated May 18, 2022.
The Labor Center is working to provide research on how California is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic; analysis of new policies, what they offer the state’s workers and businesses, and what is still needed; and curated lists of resources, information, and tools for workers and their advocates.
Failure to Deliver: Assessing Amazon’s Freedom of Association Policy under International Labor Standards
Amazon recently announced a new policy on freedom of association under international standards, saying it would comply with International Labor Organization and United Nations principles on union organizing and collective bargaining. This assessment shows that Amazon’s freedom of association policy, on its face, is non-compliant with international labor standards, and Amazon management’s conduct before and after issuing the policy continues to violate international standards.
Resources on COVID-19
- May 18, 2022 California’s Labor Market in the Time of COVID-19
- March 7, 2022 COVID-19: Local Labor Standard Policies in California
- July 1, 2020 COVID-19: Resources on Federal and State Policy and Assistance
- October 21, 2020 Public Sector Impacts of the Great Recession and COVID-19
Almost half of construction workers in California rely on food stamps or Medi-Cal, costing taxpayers over $3 billion annually, according to a 2021 study by the UC Berkeley Labor Center.
Forty years later, Katie Quan still vividly remembers the pivotal garment workers strike in New York City’s Chinatown. Quan, who was 29 at the time, was one of the key organizers of the strike, in which more than 20,000 workers — most of them Chinese-born women — marched to Columbus Park on June 24, 1982, refusing to work and demanding higher wages and benefits.
The financial picture can be remarkably different for the small-business owners who own the chains’ franchise stores, which represent the vast majority of fast-food restaurants, said Ken Jacobs, who chairs the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.
California has been a laboratory for progressive labor measures, said Ken Jacobs. It “becomes proof of concept when a state like California puts these measures in place.”
Here’s something the unions all agree on: The labor workforce needs to grow to meet construction demands, and is struggling to do so. Pay and health coverage among the mostly non-union workforce is often so poor that nearly half of construction workers rely on the state’s five largest public safety net programs, according to a recent UC Berkeley Labor Center study.