How States Can Support Shared Prosperity in Cities through Quality Jobs

How States Can Support Shared Prosperity in Cities through Quality Jobs. Urban Institute. Donnie Charleston. March 26, 2020

New technologies, economic shifts, changing demographics and continued racial biases are widening income inequalities and racial disparities in cities across the United States. As a result, economic opportunities are increasingly concentrated among a small share of the population and in a limited number of places. To combat increased economic and geographic inequality within cities, local leaders are launching new efforts to enable women, people of color and other underrepresented groups to contribute to and benefit from economic growth. But local leaders cannot address these issues on their own. In an era of federal withdrawal from investments in communities and the social safety net, state and local leaders must work together to advance shared prosperity. In this series of briefs, we articulate why the issues of affordable housing, job growth and upskilling workers matter to statewide shared prosperity. In addition, we explore how state and local governments can forge more effective partnerships, and we profile states that are leading the way.
In this brief, the authors discuss how state and local governments can more effectively partner to grow quality jobs in cities. They acknowledge that the complexity of the challenges requires more integrated and complimentary workforce development and job growth strategies. In an accompanying brief, they address more directly the human capital development strategies that should work in tandem with job growth and economic development approaches examined in this brief. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages].

Employment Creation Potential, Labor Skills Requirements, and Skill Gaps for Young People: A Methodological Framework

Employment Creation Potential, Labor Skills Requirements, and Skill Gaps for Young People: A Methodological Framework. Brookings Institution. Haroon Bhorat et al. March 4, 2020

This paper presents a methodological framework for assessing the extent to which youth unemployment can be addressed through employment creation in industries without smokestacks in individual countries, as well as the skill gaps in the youth population that need to be addressed for this potential to be reached. There are two components to the method: (i) estimating skill demand, and (ii) identifying skill gaps in the target youth population. On the labor demand side, the framework seeks to identify the skills required for a sector to reach its employment potential. On the supply side, the methodology ultimately aims to answer the question: Do the skills to meet the demand in the sector exist in the population; and if not, where are the gaps? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages].

The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend

The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Samuel Brannen, Christian Stirling Haig, Katherine Schmidt. March 2, 2020

We are living in an age of global mass protests that are historically unprecedented in frequency, scope, and size. Our analysis finds that the mass political protests that have captured media attention over the past year, such as those in Hong Kong and Santiago, are in fact part of a decade-long trend line affecting every major populated region of the world, the frequency of which have increased by an annual average of 11.5 percent between 2009 and 2019. The size and frequency of recent protests eclipse historical examples of eras of mass protest, such as the late-1960s, late-1980s, and early-1990s. Viewed in this broader context, the events of the Arab Spring were not an isolated phenomenon but rather an especially acute manifestation of a broadly increasing global trend. Analysis of the root causes of these global protests suggests they will continue and could increase in 2020 and beyond. While each protest has a unique context, common grievances overwhelmingly center on perceptions of ineffective governance and corruption. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages].

Next Generation Urban Planning: Enabling Sustainable Development at the Local Level through Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs)

Next Generation Urban Planning: Enabling Sustainable Development at the Local Level through Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs). Brookings Institution. Anthony F. Pipa and Max Bouchet. February 9, 2020

Around the world, cities are evolving at an unprecedented pace, grappling with profound challenges driven by urbanization, demographics, and climate change. City leaders face extraordinary pressures to manage this growth and implement sustainable development strategies. As United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently remarked, “With more than half the world’s population, cities are on the frontlines of sustainable and … inclusive development.”

Global trends of rapid urbanization exacerbate the local urgency for sustainable development. Climate change and migration have very localized effects that require localized solutions. The risk to physical and civic infrastructures, and social cohesion and safety, creates new complexity for local governments. Cities are also where inequality takes on a visible human face, with rich and poor physically intermingling, bound together by place and economic and social relationships. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 38 pages].

A New Approach to Examining Disability: How the WD-FAB Could Improve SSA’s Processes and Help People with Disabilities Stay Employed

A New Approach to Examining Disability: How the WD-FAB Could Improve SSA’s Processes and Help People with Disabilities Stay Employed. Urban Institute. Diane Brandt, Jack Smalligan. December 17, 2019

The National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with Boston University, developed a new tool for assessing individual functional ability with funding from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The tool, called the Work Disability–Functional Assessment Battery (WD-FAB), uses item response theory and computer adaptive testing to quickly interview people and systematically map physical and mental health functioning.
In this paper, we provide background on the WD-FAB and explore two ways it could improve the delivery of services to people with disabilities. First, the instrument could provide SSA with a more complete understanding of an applicant’s self-reported functional abilities and limitations. SSA could use those insights to improve the disability determination process for those applying for disability benefits. Second, the instrument could help federal, state, and local programs identify interventions for people who need return-to-work services.
The WD-FAB offers an opportunity to leverage advances in approaches to integrate functional information into the assessment of work disability using comprehensive, efficient technologies to capture self-reported functioning. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages].

Organized Labor and The Employment Trajectories of Workers in Routine Jobs: Evidence from U.S. Panel Data

Organized Labor and the Employment Trajectories of Workers in Routine Jobs: Evidence from U.S. Panel Data. Brookings Institution. Zachary Parolin. January 14, 2020.

Technological change has contributed to declines in the employment shares of routine occupations, such as office clerks and industrial workers. Less clear, however, is whether organized labor mitigates the pace and consequences of technological change for workers in routine occupations. This study investigates the extent to which union membership affects the employment and earnings trajectories of workers in routine jobs. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) spanning 1970 to 2015, this study employs individual fixed effects and propensity score matching estimates to assess the effect of union membership on the likelihood that an adult in a routine job (1) remains employed in a routine job for a longer duration of time, (2) avoids unemployment, and (3) achieves higher earnings over time relative to non-unionized routine workers. The results demonstrate that union membership contributes to a 13 percentage point increase in the likelihood that a worker in a routine occupation remains in that occupation during the two decades after obtaining the job, a 5 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of becoming unemployed, and a 4 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of earning below 50 percent of national median earnings. Results are broadly consistent across decade, age group, race/ethnicity, sex, and level of educational attainment. The findings suggest that organized labor is an important actor in shaping the pace and social consequences of technological change. [Note: contains copyrighted information].

[PDF format, 30 pages].

U.S. Has Changed In Key Ways In The Past Decade, From Tech Use To Demographics

U.S. Has Changed In Key Ways In The Past Decade, From Tech Use To Demographics. Pew Research Center.  Katherine Schaeffer. December 20, 2019

The past decade in the United States has seen technological advancements, demographic shifts and major changes in public opinion. Pew Research Center has tracked these developments through surveys, demographic analyses and other research. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].