“Every man should be concerned that every other man is employed, for only in full employment is the individual laborer assured a job.”Sadie Alexander, the first economist to recommend a jobs guarantee
While unemployment has dropped for Black, Latinx, and Asian people between 2007 and 2018, the rates of unemployment are still much higher for people of color. In fact, for Black workers, unemployment stubbornly stays at rates seen by White households during the great recession. Racial bias and discrimination remains strong in hiring practices. That’s no surprise to the more than 40% of Black women and a third of Black men who endure unemployment after they have been incarcerated.
Policies for Consideration:
Everyone who wants a job can work: A job guarantee would ensure that anyone who wants a job can work—effectively making employment a right, eradicating poverty, and getting the nation to true full employment (an unemployment rate of 0%). This federally funded program would provide resources to local jurisdictions to identify and create jobs in needed employment sectors such as caretaking, healthcare, energy efficiency, and infrastructure.
All of the guaranteed jobs would provide workers a livable wage, paid leave, health benefits (in the absence of a universal healthcare plan), and also encourage worker power. The jobs created should be meaningful, productive, and useful to communities. Formerly incarcerated people and immigrants will be included in the jobs guarantee as well.