Wanted: Better Jobs

The U.S. has a job quality problem.  Even when unemployment is low, millions of Americans work at low-paying jobs that often offer limited opportunities for advancement. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Decades of research at MIT and elsewhere indicate that some companies achieve good returns while providing better jobs for frontline workers than many of their competitors do. The key lies in how companies are managed, the choices their leaders make—and the pressures those leaders face from investors.

Creating Good Jobs

Paul Osterman | Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Professor of Human Resources at MIT Sloan
Effective job training programs can teach skills and, as an example, move someone from a low wage services-sector job into a well-paying health care job (Osterman 2020; Roder and Elliott 2021). There is no reason, other than a lack of political will and resources, that anyone should be limited to a lifetime of 'low skill' work."
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