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Episode 58: Inequities in Retirement: SECURE 2.0 and More with Dr. Nari Rhee

In this conversation, which focuses on labor and retirement issues, Dr. Rhee emphasizes the challenges faced by low and middle-income workers in the U.S. retirement system, particularly in the private sector. The discussion touches on topics such as the inadequacy of Social Security for low-wage workers, barriers in defined contribution plans, and the impact of job characteristics on retirement benefits.


NASA and UC Berkeley Host Discussion on the Future of AI at Work

The role of AI as a tool for school and business was a key theme of the symposium. Annette Bernhardt, director of the technology and work program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center, emphasized the balance between worker privacy and the benefit of highly productive AI tools.


The cost of higher wages in California

Sen. María Elena Durazo, the Los Angeles Democrat who wrote the bill, points to data from the UC Berkeley Labor Center that anticipates how the new law could save money by helping workers avoid using public assistance. Better pay also means some relief with staffing issues, healthcare workers argue, which would benefit patients too.

Westside Connect

Bountiful harvest puts trucking capacity to the test

A first-of-its-kind report published last month by the University of California, Berkeley, Labor Center, titled “Ensuring the Supply of Agricultural Truck Drivers,” used California’s tomato harvest to illustrate why finding sufficient drivers can be so hard.

The Press Democrat

Close to Home: Serving up a raise for fast-food workers

According to the UC Berkeley Labor Center, more than two-thirds of California’s fast-food workers are adults aged 20 and older. Nearly 70% live in households with four or more people, and their wages contribute 40% of their family’s annual income. Two-thirds of California fast-food workers are women, 8 in 10 are workers of color, and 6 in 10 Are Latino.

KNAU Arizona Public Radio

Arizona’s construction workers face growing risks amid rising heat and a real estate boom

Working conditions, however, have not kept pace with the growth. According to research by the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley, construction workers—the vast majority of whom are immigrants, many undocumented—are paid low wages without benefits, often under the table. Less than 5% are covered by collective bargaining agreements, far below the national rate of more than 13%.


7 Ideas to Reduce the Racial Retirement Gap

The government uses tax breaks to encourage saving, with bigger deductions for bigger contributions (up to caps set by the IRS). That steers the biggest benefit to higher earners who can most afford to save, Rhee says. “We need to restructure the subsidies so that more of the tax benefits go towards low-income households that actually need the help.”

RELEASE: Ensuring the Supply of Agricultural Truck Drivers: What the State of California Can Do

This report provides the first in-depth look at the labor market for agricultural truck drivers in California and the first study of this workforce anywhere in the U.S. in almost 30 years. It finds that, while there is not a shortage of people interested in truck driving, the industry faces challenges with retaining drivers, with turnover being especially high for long-haul drivers.

RELEASE: Fossil fuel layoff: The economic and employment effects of a refinery closure on workers in the Bay Area

A new report from the University of California Berkeley Labor Center released Wednesday documents the difficult post-layoff job search and working conditions of hundreds of California fossil fuel workers in the aftermath of the 2020 closure of the Marathon Martinez oil refinery in Contra Costa County, providing an illuminating case study of the perils and needs of workers in the nation’s changing energy landscape.

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