April 5, 2014. However, despite being categorized as essential, many workers in these industries are not receiving the most basic health and safety measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Workers who have continued to go into their workplaces—whom we now call “essential” and “frontline”—have been instrumental in keeping the economy running… Women make up the majority of essential workers in health care (76%) and government and community-based services (73%). California Poverty Measure coronavirus COVID-19 Economy employment Health & Human Services jobs Population Poverty & Inequality All Blog Posts, Donate Now A new report—titled “Billionaire Wealth vs. Community Health: Protecting Essential Workers from Pandemic Profiteers” by Bargaining for the Common Good, the Institute for Policy Studies, and United for Respect—shines a light on the “Delinquent Dozen.” … Read the full article at Common Dreams. Note: Code for the definition of essential services used here is available upon request. How do taxes and spending work, and where do you fit in? These memorandums reference the CISA Guidelines for Essential Workers last updated on August 18, 2020, and can be used as companion pieces, along with a letter on company letterhead identifying an employee as essential. Exploring how race, ethnicity, and class intersect to affect economic outcomes in the United States. Nearly 70% of essential workers do not have a college degree. Donate. Nonprofit Professional Employees Union. These Californians are not necessarily at high risk of health complications from COVID-19, but they will be deeply affected by the economic consequences of the steps being taken by cities, counties, and regions to contain the outbreak and protect public health. Sign up for our blog alerts to receive insights from PPIC by email. Before the candidates take the stage for the 2020 presidential debates, EPI has compiled resources that could be helpful in fact-checking the economic and political claims that are made. Child care workers are 95.6 percent female, and are disproportionately workers of color. The coronavirus pandemic has revealed much about the nature of work in the U.S. As state executive orders defined “essential services,” attention was focused on the workers performing those services and the conditions under which they work. Essential workers are dying as a result. As shown in Table 1, a majority of essential workers by these definitions are employed in health care (30%), food and agriculture (20%), and the industrial, commercial, residential facilities and services industry (12%). Some workers in these areas may be seeing layoffs and hours reductions depending on their industry, firm, or region. Differences in skills and pay translate into notable differences in economic well-being for these workers and their families. A comprehensive look at their wages, demographics, and unionization rates, Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy, Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), are not receiving the most basic health and safety measures, failed to provide essential workers basic protections, A Basic Demographic Profile of Workers in Frontline Industries, access to employer-sponsored health benefits, providing health insurance and requiring safety equipment, 14% increase in the rate of occupational fatalities, enact and enforce policies that would protect essential workers, secured additional paid sick leave, extended paid leave for dependent care, and expanded teleworking policies, are working together to put pressure on transit agencies to secure safety protections, Collective bargaining and right to organize, Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy • PREE, Economic Analysis and Research Network • EARN. A commitment to economic dignity must also go hand-in-hand with protecting workers’ right to organize and bond together to prevent domination and humiliation on the job. These positions have always been essential, yet many are underpaid and under-protected. Some workers in these areas may be seeing layoffs and hours reductions depending on their industry, firm, or region. There’s an inherent imbalance of bargaining power between employers and employees. The coronavirus pandemic has revealed the lack of power far too many U.S. workers experience in the workplace. The Essential Workers Bill of Rights, introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Board of Directors Checking account … All Contents © Public Policy Institute of California 2020 |, Emergency Child Care for Essential Workers, Overcrowded Housing and COVID-19 Risk among Essential Workers, Counting Californians and Holding Elections in a Pandemic. Men make up the vast majority of essential workers in the energy sector (96%), water and wastewater management (91%), and critical manufacturing (88%). economic contraction will bring hardship to millions of Americans in the coming weeks and months. EPI’s research helps policymakers, opinion leaders, advocates, journalists, and the public understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting ordinary Americans. Authoritative, up-to-date data on the living standards of American workers. As the daughters of Latinx immigrants and essential workers, we see firsthand that our family members and communities lack the supports they need to effectively protect themselves against the coronavirus and adapt to new work environments. The following are examples of how unions are fighting for protections for essential workers. It is affiliated with the labor movement and is usually described as presenting a left-leaning and pro- union viewpoint on public policy issues. EcPI has roots in radical leftist politics, and it receives a large portion of its funding from organized labor. Key differences are that we use a different data set—the Current Population Survey (CPS) instead of the American Community Survey (ACS), so we could get union breakdowns—and we expand the definition of essential to include occupations found in California and Maryland’s executive orders. As seen in the figure below, only 8.8% of leisure and hospitality workers are able to telework, versus more than 50% of workers in financial activities, professional and … According to the new analysis, there are 2.2 million “essential workers” in New York State. Policymakers must address the needs of working people in relief and recovery legislation, and that should include ensuring workers have a meaningful right to a union. They have no effective right to refuse dangerous assignments and are not even being granted premium pay, despite working in difficult and dangerous conditions. Sponsorships, Informing and improving public policy through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. Economic Policy Institute. If we weight these employees by their earnings in 2019 as an indicator of their contribution to the country’s GDP, we see that these at-home workers now account for more than two-thirds of economic activity. Giving Circles Grocery store cashiers, store clerks, farmworkers, and delivery and truck drivers make up sizeable shares of the essential workforce. Some essential jobs are obvious, as they are on the front lines of the public health crisis. New research, insightful graphics, and event invites in your inbox every week. EPI is an independent, nonprofit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States. The tables below provide a basic demographic profile of workers in these frontline industries. Personal care aides—those who assist the elderly and others in their homes or personal care facilities—are the single largest essential job category. ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE • 1333 H STREET, NW • SUITE 300, EAST TOWER • WASHINGTON, DC 20005 • 202.775.8810 • WWW.EPI.ORG We’ve broken down our research into several themes and have highlighted some of our most important research in each area: Workers most hurt by COVID-19 Black… In low wage essential jobs, access to health benefits and paid sick leave is limited, even in normal times. But behind its façade of political balance lays an agenda-driven organization. Strikingly, some of the most high-risk industries have the lowest unionization rates, such as health care (10%) and food and agriculture (8%). Mandated lockdowns are now slated to continue through at least May 1 in some parts of the state and  may last even longer. © 2020 Economic Policy Institute Here's how it impacts your workplace—and our democracy. Grants A disproportionately high share of black and Hispanic workers cannot telecommute, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute based on federal labor data.Asian workers… Salaries, reviews and more - all posted by employees working at Economic Policy Institute. The remaining 26 percent are working on their business’s premises, primarily as essential service workers. People of color make up the majority of essential workers in food and agriculture (50%) and in industrial, commercial, residential facilities and services (53%). Newsletter Further, a great share of these workers who can’t work from home are in the leisure and hospitality industry. Essential workers fulfill a wide variety of roles in our economy, including in health care services, energy provision, food service, agriculture, and transportation. Many of these workers are required to work without protective equipment. Washington, DC 20005 EPI believes every working person deserves a good job with fair pay, affordable health care, and retirement security. Before the coronavirus pandemic, unions played a critical role in ensuring workers receive fair pay and working conditions. Read the full report: New York’s Essential Workers: Overlooked, Underpaid, and Indispensable The Fiscal Policy Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization committed to improving public policies and private practices to better the economic and social conditions of all. Essential workers in the food and agriculture industry have the lowest median hourly wage, at $13.12, while essential workers in the financial industry have the highest, at … However, workers outside of the health care sector are also on the front lines. Essential workers in the food and agriculture industry have the lowest median hourly wage, at $13.12, while essential workers in the financial industry have the highest, at $29.55. While the coronavirus pandemic has shut down much of the U.S. economy, with over 33 million workers applying for unemployment insurance since March 15, millions of workers are still on the job providing essential services. In doing this, we build on the excellent work by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in their report A Basic Demographic Profile of Workers in Frontline Industries. Given the low hourly wage rates for these workers, some may face hardships in caring for children or family members with schools and care facilities shuttered. During the COVID-19 crisis, expanding access to personal protective gear could reduce the health risks among workers whose job requires some level of contact with the public. Make a donation to support WW>>> Get Workers World by … The Economic Policy Institute staff is unionized with the Essential workers fulfill a wide variety of roles in our economy, including in health care services, energy provision, food service, agriculture, and transportation. Congress must act and pass legislation that is responsive to the magnitude of this crisis and direct assistance to the tens of millions of working families most impacted by the public health and economic emergencies. The following are examples of how unions help working people. California is grappling with the dual threats of a public health crisis caused by the coronavirus and the additional economic fallout of necessary social distancing measures. Newsroom Paid sick leave, adequate health coverage, income support, access to child care, and sufficient personal protective gear should all be part of the policy discussion. … The New York City Council is currently considering a package of similar policies for essential workers. Staff Enter your name and then you’re all set! Source: Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analysis of Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata, EPI Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 1.0.2 (2020), https://microdata.epi.org. Now, more than two months into the pandemic, many essential workers are still risking their lives without basic health and safety protections, paid leave, or premium pay. By 1986, a group of left-wing economists led by Jeff Faux of the National Center for Economic Alternatives had founded the Economic Policy Institute as a think tank to advance an agenda closely aligned with that of the international labor unions. So, by sheer numbers, the U.S. is a working-from … Privacy Policy • Contact Us. EPI’s founders are major players in left-Democratic economic thinking and labor policy making. Marxism and long-term unemployment . The Trump administration’s failure to provide essential workers basic protections during the coronavirus pandemic sheds light on the importance of unions. Please log in or create an account first. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, essential workers provided critical services that often went unnoticed. Many workers in essential industries are also immigrants, making up around 16% of essential workers in Virginia. While this essential workforce supports the state’s health and basic economic needs, many of these workers are not well equipped to weather the economic challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. Ensuring the ability of essential workers to continue their jobs safely and effectively will be crucial over the coming months. There are roughly 55 million workers in industries deemed “essential” at this time. 1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 600 Six million immigrant workers are at the frontlines of keeping U.S. residents healthy and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic, representing disproportionate shares of physicians, home health aides, and retail-store pharmacists, for example. Contact us Phone: 202-775-8810 • epi@epi.org Weak labor protections have put Midwestern food processing workers at risk for coronavirus, all while Tyson Foods supervisors privately bet on the number of workers who would get sick from COVID-19. Copy the code below to embed this chart on your website. Child care workers receive very low pay. Interactive tools and videos bringing clarity to the national dialogue on economic inequality. Thank you! The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions. A recent analysis of Census data by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) lends insight into who Florida’s frontline workers are — these are the nearly 2 million individuals deemed “essential” during this pandemic. In addition, many essential workers experience the cost and risk of maintaining their own health while interacting with the public. As California responds to COVID-19, its low-income workers face particularly urgent difficulties. Hiding stagnation and ‘missing workers’ ... Defend workers’ rights, build Workers World! While the Trump administration has failed to provide essential workers basic protections, working people are taking action. Policy choices have tilted the playing field toward the rich and corporations. The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people’s lives. 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