Economic Security, Mobility and Equity (ESME)
Whether paid or unpaid, women’s work is crucial for their families’ economic security and well-being. Greater gender equality in paid and unpaid work will reduce poverty and improve economic growth and prosperity; persistent inequity in employment and family work is costing all of us. Women are held back by the undervaluation of historically female work, workplaces designed as if workers had no family responsibilities, and a broken-down work-family infrastructure.
IWPR’s ESME program highlights the extent of pay inequalities, and the role played by stark occupational segregation in perpetuating unequal pay. We conduct research and analysis on women’s labor force participation and employment trends; workforce development, non-traditional employment, and apprenticeships; the impact of sex discrimination and harassment on women’s career advancement and mobility; the gender pay gap and pay inequity across race and ethnicity; work-family policies and employer practices; the and the impact of automation and technological advances on women workers.
We work with policymakers, employers, advocates, and practitioners to identify promising practices and policy solutions.
Paid adult care work jobs are expected to increase substantially in the coming years, due to both an aging population and a comparatively low risk of automation for many of these jobs. These jobs, however, are among the lowest quality occupations in the U.S. labor market, with paid adult care workers facing low earnings, limited access to benefits, high rates of injury on the job, and scheduling unpredictability.
Paid Family Leave—Vital Benefits at an Affordable Cost
Paid family and medical leave programs benefit workers, families, employers, and society—but at what cost? IWPR and IMPAQ International recently evaluated existing paid leave programs in three states, as well as the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMILY) Act as it has been introduced in both houses of Congress. Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Census Bureau, the study determined that family leave could be offered nationwide at modest cost.
The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State
Persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower lifetime pay for women, less income for families, and higher rates of poverty across the United States. In each state in the country, women experience lower earnings and higher poverty rates than men.
Paid Sick Days: Significant Benefits, Low Costs
Unlike most nations in the industrialized world, the United States does not guarantee that workers receive paid sick leave. Some employees are eligible for unpaid time off to care for their own or a close family member’s “serious health condition” under the Family and Medical Leave [...]
The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy
DOWNLOAD REPORT Women make up almost half of the workforce, yet they continue to earn less than men on average in nearly every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio (Hegewisch [...]
Access to Paid Sick Time in Texas
Approximately 40 percent of workers in Texas lack paid sick time, and low-income and part-time workers are especially unlikely to be covered.
Supports that Matter in Workforce Development Programs: A National Client Survey on Access to Services
This report presents findings from a national, online survey of more than 1,800 participants in job training programs. It captures their perspectives on the role of supportive services such as child care and transportation assistance in facilitating their success in job training, the availability of supportive services across different types of training programs, the unmet support needs of program participants, and the significance of job training for their lives.