Program Director, Job Quality and Income Security

Areas of Expertise: Access to Good Jobs, Family & Medical Leave, Investing in Single Mothers' Higher Education, Paid Sick Days, Poverty and the Social Safety Net, Retirement & Social Security, Unemployment & the Economy, Women and Asset-Building

Jeff Hayes is a sociologist and works on research examining women’s and men’s employment, job quality, and economic security over the life course, including retirement. He currently oversees IWPR’s work analyzing usage and cost of paid family and medical leave in the United States and provides technical assistance to several states and localities considering how they might improve workers’ access to paid leave for their own health needs or to care for family members. Dr. Hayes has been interviewed on paid leave, income security, and job quality issues in The Washington Post, MarketWatch, Huffington Post, CNN Money, CNBC, and other outlets around the country.

Dr. Hayes has testified on the costs of paid leave proposals before the New York City Council, the DC city council, and the Maryland House Economic Matters committee. He is currently serving on the Maryland Task Force to Study Family and Medical Leave Insurance. He served on the Commission to Modernize Social Security and has provided technical assistance to members of the US Congress on including credits for caregiving in Social Security. Dr. Hayes is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. As an experienced survey researcher, Dr. Hayes advises on IWPR’s survey work and conducts major surveys such as the IWPR/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security.

Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Hayes worked at the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Harvard Project on Global Working Families, analyzing how labor conditions affect children’s health and development around the world, and taught research methods at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He holds Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.

Publications

The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy

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 and DuMonthier 2016a). In 2015, women working full-time, year-round earned just 80 cents for…

Paid Sick Days Access and Usage Rates Vary by Race/Ethnicity, Occupation, and Earnings

Utilizing data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), this briefing paper estimates the proportion of public and private sector workers ages 18 and older with access to paid sick days, and their use of paid sick days, by race and ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, earnings, job level (supervisor/nonsupervisory status), and other demographic and…

The Union Advantage for Women

This briefing paper presents an analysis of women’s union membership and the union wage and benefit advantage for women by state and by race/ethnicity. It is based on an analysis of the Current Population Survey. Wage and benefit data are for all workers covered by a union contract, irrespective of their membership in a union.

How the New Overtime Rule Will Help Women & Families

This report, a collaboration between the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and MomsRising, is an analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed change to the overtime threshold and how this change will affect working women. The report focuses on the 5.9 million workers who would be “newly covered” by the proposed increase and…

Moynihan’s Half Century: Have We Gone to Hell in a Hand Basket?

In The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, published in 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously argued that the fundamental obstacle to racial equality was the instability of Black families, and especially the prevalence of single-mother families. That same year, he predicted that the spread of single-parent families would result not only in rising poverty…

Paid Sick Days Access Varies by Race/Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation, and Job Characteristics

Paid sick days bring multiple benefits to employers, workers, families, and communities at large. The economic and public health benefits of paid sick leave coverage are substantial, including safer work environments; reduced spread of contagion; and reduced health care costs. Access to this important benefit, however, is still too rare, and is unequally distributed across…

As Foreign-Born Worker Population Grows, Many Lack Paid Sick Days

Research demonstrates that low-wage workers and people of color are least likely to have access to paid sick days.This brief builds on previous research to provide an analysis of immigrant access to sick days using data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

How Equal Pay for Working Women would Reduce Poverty and Grow the American Economy

Persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower pay, less family income, and more poverty in families with a working woman, which is of no small consequence to working families. About 71 percent of all mothers in the United States work for pay. Of these, about two-thirds (68 percent) are married and typically have…