Public Comment Creating a Future Where Everyone Can Succeed: Letter to the House Committee on Education and Labor
Jenny R. Yang
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This letter responds to the House Committee on Education and Labor’s hearings on the Future of Work. As we consider how to create a future where everyone can succeed, policymakers must confront longstanding racism and inequality in our social and economic systems. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated inequality by disproportionately affecting Black Americans and Latinx workers who are overrepresented in jobs deemed essential. The COVID-19 crisis has also ignited racism against Asian Americans who have faced increased xenophobia, harassment, and hate crimes. Women have been disproportionately hit by unemployment as well as a growing child care crisis. Older workers and many people with disabilities are also facing increased health risks and growing economic insecurity. The pandemic has magnified the divide in how people live and work—especially those who can work from home and those who cannot. As we rebuild, our aim should not be to simply resume business as usual; we must create a stronger, more inclusive economy and democracy. As we work to revitalize our workplace protections and advance economic justice, I offer three areas of focus: (1) removing longstanding and emerging barriers to opportunity that contribute to persistent occupational segregation, (2) ensuring that employers’ use of algorithmic hiring screens and worker monitoring have sufficient safeguards, and (3) expanding workplace protections and safety net supports for workers in nontraditional jobs who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Research Areas Race and equity
Tags Racial and ethnic disparities Racial segregation Civil rights laws and regulations Workers in low-wage jobs Unemployment and unemployment insurance Racial inequities in employment
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population