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Low-Wage Work

Who are low-wage workers? What industries do they work in? What employment challenges do they face other than low wages? What are strategies for improving job quality for these workers?

In 2012, AspenWSI launched a roundtable discussion series titled, Reinventing Low-Wage Work:  Ideas That Can Work For Employees, Employers and the Economy.  Low-wage workers make up a large and growing part of our economy. As workforce development leaders, policymakers, and investors look to improve economic opportunities for low-income Americans, AspenWSI believes more attention and effort needs to be focused on low-wage industries such as restaurant and retail and the workers who are employed in occupations in those sectors. Building off of the Reinventing Low-Wage Work series, AspenWSI began a new roundtable discussion series in 2013 titled, Working in America, that examines a range of job quality issues affecting low and moderate income Americans. In this section, visitors can find resources that discuss low-wage industries and workers, issues with job quality in America, strategies workforce development organizations use to improve job quality, the reasons why businesses should provide quality jobs, and the policy ideas that help raise the floor for America’s workers. To explore these topics, visitors can also view video recordings from both of our roundtable discussion series.

All Research & Resources


Democracy at Work: Citizen Action and the Fight for $15

Resource Type: Video

National attention is increasingly focused on growing inequality, stagnating wages,...
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Optimizing Talent: The Promise and the Perils of Adapting Sectoral Strategies for Young Workers (February 2016)

Long-term self-sufficiency means more than just a job. Those at the bottom of the labor...
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Connecting Young Adults to Employment: Results from a National Survey of Service Providers (January 2016)

America’s youngest workers are facing their most dire employment prospects in recent...
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The Future of Work for Low-Income Workers and Families

The Future of Work for Low-Income Workers and Families is a policy brief aimed at state...
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SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership Case Study

By 2050, the number of Americans needing long-term care services and supports will...
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