PROJECTJob Quality and Workplace Standards

In the US and other countries, laws, regulations, and business practices establish standards for worker wages, workplace safety, and employment security. Those standards govern such areas as minimum wages, overtime and work hours, child labor, occupational safety, worker leave, and unemployment insurance. In the US, employers must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Workers Compensation Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and Unemployment Insurance and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

Our research addresses job quality and labor standards from economic, policy, and business perspectives. We examine changes in national and state laws and regulations to understand how they vary across jurisdictions and over time. We also estimate the likely effect of potential policy changes on workers, employers, and communities at the local, state, and national levels.



Featured Research on Paid Family, Medical, and Sick Leave 



Improving Job Quality for All Workers
June 2019 Pamela Loprest, Demetra Nightingale, Jenny R. Yang, Steven Brown

Making the Business Case for Employee Well-Being
June 2019 Molly M. Scott, Natalie Spievack

Minimum Wages: What Does the Research Tell Us about the Effectiveness of Local Action?
January 2019 John Marotta, Solomon Greene

Imagining a Future of Work That Fosters Mobility for All
January 2018 Lawerence F. Katz, Ai-jen Poo, Elaine Waxman

Unemployment Insurance Modernization and Eligibility
June 2016 Thomas Callan, Stephan Lindner, Austin Nichols

Who Minds the Kids When Mom Works a Nonstandard Schedule?
July 2015 Maria E. Enchautegui, Martha C. Johnson, Julia Gelatt

Nonstandard Work Schedules and the Well-being of Low-Income Families
July 2013 Maria E. Enchautegui

Informal and Nonstandard Employment in the United States
August 2011 Demetra Smith Nightingale, Stephen Wandner


Urban Wire Posts

How is technological advancement changing the labor market?
September 2018 Steven Brown, Pamela Loprest

Four ideas to help America prepare for the future of work
August 2018 Robert Abare

New data shed light on why some workers prefer nontraditional employment
August 2018 Cary Lou, Elizabeth Peters

Are we at a tipping point for tip wages?
February 2018 Demetra Smith Nightingale

New parents aren't the only people who need paid family leave
February 2018 Shirley Adelstein, H. Elizabeth Peters

Worker protection policies should adapt to the changing structure of employment
January 2018 Demetra Smith Nightingale

What do we really know about jobs?
August 2016 Moly M. Scott

What we need to understand about the future of work
June 2016 Jonathan Schwabish

Why parents’ nonstandard work schedules matter for children: Is it the hours or the instability?
September 2015 Heather Sandstorm

Research Areas Workforce
Tags Workforce development