In this report, we focus on trends in technology adoption in the retail sector, looking beyond the effects of the current crisis to trace how retailers are using digital technologies in ways that alter the quality and quantity of front-line retail jobs. While we recognize the pandemic’s possible impacts on the retail workplace throughout the report, the bulk of our discussion concerns longstanding trends that appear likely to continue over the next five years or longer.
The Labor Center conducts in-depth research on labor markets and working conditions in a wide range of industries, especially those employing low-wage workers, women, immigrants, and workers of color.
Research & Publications
New technologies in the retail sector are likely to mean more monitoring and coercion of workers, and a stronger advantage for large companies like Walmart and Amazon, according to a new report released today from the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center and Working Partnerships USA.
Introduction The next great challenge for California climate policy lies in the transportation sector. Vehicles account for fully 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions in California, the most of any…
New UC Berkeley Report: Stop Truck Driver Misclassification to Meet California’s Climate Goals. Misclassified drivers can’t afford clean trucks; Current Legislation—AB 5 would help make California’s transition to low- and zero-emissions trucks a reality.
Expanding high-quality ECE would not only generate economic output through the higher earnings of ECE workers, but would have an even greater impact on the state’s economy by increasing the employment, earnings, and productivity of parents.
As legislators in Sacramento consider proposals to improve early care and education (ECE), a new report by the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley shines light on the shortfalls of the current system. It finds that increased public spending on early care and education can provide a substantial boost to California’s economy.
Misclassification in California: A Snapshot of the Janitorial Services, Construction, and Trucking Industries
In this fact sheet we look at three industries in California where misclassification is known to be disproportionately high and could potentially be reduced by an ABC test – trucking, construction, and janitorial services. For each industry, we describe the demographics and wages of workers and misclassification practices by employers.
Third in the Guest Blogger Series: Voices of Labor and Allies from Labor in the Climate Transition Conference
Behind the apps that consumers interact with are large workforces of low-wage workers in fulfillment centers that prepare ingredients and pack them into boxes. This new and growing group of workers, who are primarily immigrants and people of color, has remained invisible in the narrative of how meal-kits are “disrupting” the food industry.
Meal-kit delivery services are often described as technology companies that are “disrupting” the food industry in the same way that startups have transformed other industries, such as taxi services and…
New UC Berkeley report looking at job quality in a meal-kit fulfillment center finds workers struggling with low wages, unpredictable schedules, workplace-related injuries, and sexual assault.
Will autonomous trucks mean the end of the road for truck drivers? The $740-billion-a-year U.S. trucking industry is widely expected to be an early adopter of self-driving technology, with numerous tech companies and major truck makers racing to build autonomous trucks. This trend has led to dozens of reports and news articles suggesting that automation could effectively eliminate the truck-driving profession.
RELEASE: Driverless trucks could replace many of the nation’s best long-distance trucking jobs, while shifting the industry towards more low-wage gig jobs
Without action from policymakers, driverless trucks are projected to eliminate some of America’s best trucking jobs while also creating low-wage gig jobs, according to the first in-depth study of how autonomous trucks could be adopted by specific segments of the industry and affect wages and working conditions.
Comments on Rule Proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Prohibiting Homecare Workers from Making Paycheck Deductions for Union Dues
The ability of homecare workers to choose to join a union and have dues deducted from their pay has led to important improvements in an industry historically marked by low wages and high worker turnover. The proposed rule would not only harm workers, it would have a deleterious effect on care quality and undermine the objective of home and community based services of providing seniors and people with disabilities a viable alternative to institutional settings.
At the Wage Floor: Covering Homecare and Early Care and Education Workers in the New Generation of Minimum Wage Laws
These workers provide a critical (but too often unrecognized) public good; as such, we argue that a significant public investment is a necessary part of the solution, both to deliver minimum wage increases to these workers and to cover the significant unmet need for care.
This fact sheet estimates the total number of maids and housekeeping cleaners in the Traveler Accommodation Industry for Oakland, CA. Producing estimates of the number of hotel workers in Oakland…
Unless California’s homecare crisis is addressed and workers’ wages are increased, the elderly and people with disabilities will not get the care they require, homecare workers will continue to live in poverty, and the public cost of long-term care will increase.
This literature review was undertaken at the request of the San Francisco Airport Commission to aid in the evaluation of a proposal to increase wages for those covered under the…
This report examines wages and working conditions for California’s EMTs and paramedics, and provides context on the industry and governance of the state’s EMS system.
New study shows that EMS workers’ wages are low and stagnating and the jobs are dangerous, with high rates of mortality, injury, mental and physical trauma.