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Joint Center News: August 2019

The Joint Center released an op-ed based on our groundbreaking survey data on the future of work and race, and continued our monthly jobs analysis. Details below.

Economic Studies: Future of Work

Taking Action for Low-Income Workers: Spencer and Joint Center Workforce Policy Director Harin Contractor partnered with the National Skills Coalition to co-author an essay in a new compendium entitled Taking Action: Positioning Low-Income Workers to Succeed in a Changing Economy. The publication offers strategies to address disparities and equip low-income individuals with the education and skills needed to succeed in the changing workforce, and was funded by Annie E. Casey Foundation and The Joyce Foundation. Read it here.

Joint Center President Spencer Overton wrote an op-ed for The Hill calling for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to focus on the future of work priorities identified by people of color in the survey.

The Future of Work & the Black Rural South: Spencer shared findings and obtained feedback on the Joint Center’s research on the future of work and the Black Rural South at a USDA session at the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s Mississippi Policy Conference in Tunica, MS. He also shared and obtained feedback on the research as a keynote speaker to over 25 local elected and emerging leaders at the One Voice Mississippi Black Leadership Institute. For a 4-page summary of the research (including graphs), click here.

At the Black Economic Alliance’s Future of Work session on Martha’s Vineyard, Spencer was the opening speaker and provided an overview of the impact of automation, upskilling, and geography on Black workers. Later that same week, Spencer spoke at the Black Economic Forum and discussed steps Black private sector executives should take to help Black workers transition to better jobs in the new economy.

August Jobs Analysis

Employment Situation Report: On August 2, 2019, Harin hosted analysis on the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report. In our latest chat, Omidyar Network Senior Manager of Reimagining Capitalism Joelle Gamble, Groundwork Collaborative Policy & Research Director Janelle Jones, and Harin discussed how African Americans are underrepresented in industries that tend to pay higher than average wages.


On his weekly podcast, WashingTECH Host Joe Miller spoke with Norman Lear Center Managing Director Dr. Johanna Blakley on TV and politics, Pew Research Center Senior Data Scientist Patrick van Kessel on children and YouTube, Public Knowledge President & CEO Chris Lewis on tech policy. The podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, and on WashingTECH’s website. New episodes every Tuesday. Listen here.

In Case You Missed It

Comcast-NBCUniversal announced an expansion of its Internet Essentials program, which will provide high-speed internet to qualified households at an affordable rate. The step is significant because access to high-speed broadband is critical for the future of work in Black communities (e.g., work, education, and skill-building), but currently almost 28 percent of African Americans lack access to broadband at home.

The African American Mayors Association released a white paper on the future of work’s effect on Black and Latino workers in three cities: Gary, IN, Columbia, SC, and Long Beach, CA. Read it here.


National Association of Black Women in Construction is hosting a reception on September 12. More here.