Part of the Labor Center’s Covid-19 Series: Resources, Data, and Analysis for California. This chart pack focuses on unemployed workers and essential workers in California.
Future of Work & Workers
Area of Expertise
Labor Market Research
Sarah Thomason is a research and policy associate at the Labor Center, focusing on low-wage work. Before joining the Labor Center, she conducted research for National People’s Action, El Colegio de México, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. Sarah received a Master of Public Policy degree from UC Berkeley in 2013. Prior to graduate school, Sarah worked as an organizer on economic justice campaigns in Chicago, Yonkers, and New York City.
Physical Proximity to Others in California’s Workplaces: Occupational Estimates and Demographic and Job Characteristics
In this research brief, we build on our previous research on essential workers, but use new data and broaden the analysis to the full range of occupations in the California labor market to help answer these questions: As the economy reopens, what levels of COVID-19 exposure risk will workers face when they return to their workplace? What are the demographic characteristics of these workers? And what jobs do they hold?
In this blog, we provide a profile of front-line essential jobs in California likely to be at risk of workplace exposure to the coronavirus in terms of the prevalence of low-wage work and their demographic characteristics, focusing on front-line occupations that are likely to be most at risk of workplace exposure.
Industries at Direct Risk of Job Loss from COVID-19 in California: A Profile of Front-Line Job and Worker Characteristics
In this blog, we focus on potential differences in the economic impacts on California’s workers, by analyzing major industries that are at highest risk of job losses or hours reduction stemming from social distancing and public health directives to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The lion’s share of media attention surrounding AB 5 has gone to the law’s effects on on-demand labor platforms like Uber and Lyft. However, these workers represent just a fraction of independent contractors, most of whom work across a diverse range of occupations such as janitors, hair stylists, and accountants.
Sarah Thomason on about the disproportionate number of Latino workers and other workers of color in what we now call essential industries, from farm work to grocery stores. These conditions have contributed to the outrageously high death tolls we’re seeing for this group from COVID-19.
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing improved employment figures for women. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. The dual shocks of employment and child care loss continue to threaten decades of progress in women’s labor market participation and earnings.
“Workers of color have disproportionately applied for and are receiving unemployment insurance benefits here in California,” Sarah Thomason of the UC Berkeley Labor Center said. “Service workers who have seen the highest job losses are disproportionately people of color and they’re also low wage.”
Monica’s story holds true for thousands of other families across California for whom a union job has been the main path to the middle class. These stories demonstrate just how important unions have been for increasing economic mobility.
Mantener sindicatos fuertes no solo es un asunto para los miembros sindicales – sino que nos afecta a todos