Jobs and Skills Reports

View all reports here.

Our Publications

  • This report is based on the practical experience and struggle of elected officials across the country to move their communities onto the “high road” of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. Its goal is to arm progressive local elected leaders and advocates with a range of effective policies that, if adopted, would make a significant difference in getting on that high road. They will be able to use better democratic organization to add value, reduce waste, and capture and share locally the great benefits of doing both. Report summary.

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  • Living wage ordinances raise job standards for workers at firms that do business with a city or county or that benefit from taxpayer assistance. At least 140 communities in the U.S. have passed such laws over the past two decades, and there is now a significant body of research on their effect. The evidence shows that living wage ordinances raise wages for low-income workers, often by a significant amount, with few if any measurable negative effects on either employment or taxes. Cities should consider the track record of living wage laws in other communities in order to implement the best living wage law possible. Written and produced by our partner projects, COWS and ALICE.

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  • This report highlights how raising the low-wage floor improves quality of life for the 100,000 workers in poverty-wage jobs in the city, and for a roughly equal number of poverty-wage workers in the suburban counties around city. Long term decline was made more brutal by the Great Recession, leaving workers at the mercy of a dramatic shift from manufacturing into services, declining unionization, and falling job quality. Evidence of the economic crisis abounds, yet Milwaukee’s problems — including racial disparity and residential segregation, child poverty, crime and incarceration, catastrophic drop-out rates, especially for African Americans and Hispanics — are not inevitable.

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  • Governments everywhere are looking for ways to create new, quality jobs, despite restricted budgets. Although many have enacted programs that facilitate energy efficiency retrofits for the residential and commercial sectors, retrofit of public buildings has garnered little policy attention.

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  • What can cities do to improve the quality of jobs? How can cities boost the access of the disadvantaged to the good jobs available in their jurisdictions? Building from policy innovations and experiences from all around the country, we offer here a menu of city policies aimed at improving job quality and redistributing job opportunities in favor of the disadvantaged.

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