Industry and Cross-Industry Worker Mobility

Research Report

Industry and Cross-Industry Worker Mobility

Experiences, Trends, and Opportunities for Low-Wage Workers in Health Care, Hospitality, and Child Care


The purpose of this study was to learn about occupational mobility within and across three industries: health care, hospitality, and childcare. Seven focus groups were conducted with low-age workers in three locations; 68 individuals participated. Fifteen interviews were conducted with employers and industry associations. The information collected was analyzed to understand how different industry structures and skill requirements might interact to promote a more favorable environment for low-skill workers; to identify opportunities for improved mobility and advancement of low-wage workers in certain service industries; and to recommend policy and research approaches that encourage and enhance these opportunities.

To reuse content from Urban Institute, visit, search for the publications, choose from a list of licenses, and complete the transaction.