Business is facing pressure from all sides to create more good jobs for the U.S. workforce, most recently illustrated by the 2016 presidential election, in which many voters indicated that they felt the existing system did not work for them. Legislative changes are already going into effect that will alter the nature of work in the United States, and over the next several years, politicians and activist groups are likely to increase their focus on issues such as living wages, trade policies, factory closures, outsourcing, and offshoring activities.
At the same time, the business case for creating higher-quality jobs is also growing. Over the last few years, several major companies have shown that by making strategic investments in their workforce to improve wages, job security, and working conditions, they can reduce turnover, improve operating performance, and increase shareholder returns.
This brief explores the core issues around good jobs in the United States—and the emerging areas that require action by U.S. business leaders—including automation, income inequality, part-time and contract work in the digital age, living wage, and diversity and inclusion.