Job growth: Connecting all workers to stable jobs that pay family-sustaining wages is essential to achieving workforce equity. 

Insights & Analyses

  • Occupations in healthcare support and food service are expected to have the fastest growth rate over the next 10 years. Occupations in sales and office administration are expected to have a slight decline over the same period.
  • Arizona, Colorado, and Utah are expected to see the fastest overall job growth rate (about 20 percent) over the next 10 years. Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, and Michigan are expected to see the slowest overall job growth rate (less than 1 percent).
  • Nationwide, less than half of the top 30 jobs that will see the most new openings over the next 10 years are future-ready jobs.
  • If current trends in occupational segregation persist, inequities in access to future-ready jobs will deepen. For Asian American workers, more than half of the top 30 occupations that will see the most new openings over the next 10 years are future-ready jobs. For Black, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander workers, less than a quarter of the top 30 occupations are future-ready jobs.

Drivers of Inequity

Historic and ongoing policies — both public and private — have long undervalued the labor of people of color and women, particularly in agricultural, food service, and domestic work. For example, Jim Crow laws restricted Black workers to farm and domestic labor, and business owners across a range of industries have long exploited the social and legal vulnerability of immigrant workers. Deindustrialization and other shifts in capital over the past several decades have led to declining unionization rates, stagnant wages, and increased economic deregulation. These factors, among others, have led to an increased share of occupations that are underpaid, excluded from wage protections, and uncovered by fair labor standard laws. While eliminating racial disparities in employment within high-wage, durable job sectors is a crucial equity goal, it is equally crucial to raise the floor on job quality for all.  Shared prosperity begins with equitable wages, safe working conditions, and durable labor protections for the frontline workers who have always fulfilled essential roles in driving economic prosperity and cultivating vibrant communities.


Grow an equitable economy: Policies to reach full employment for all

Strategy in Action

California law set to improve protections for fast-food workers. More than half a million workers in the state of California work in the fast-food industry — a sector that struggles with low wages, wage theft, harassment, and overall unsafe working conditions. One in five families with a member working in the fast-food sector has an income below the federal poverty line. The FAST Recovery Act (AB 257), which was passed by the California Assembly and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2022, aims to improve working standards for fast food restaurants. The law will establish a 10-member council made up of political appointees from state health and labor industry officials, fast food workers, and union representatives to create minimum standards of wages and working conditions with the capability of raising the minimum wage to $22 per hour. Labor advocates, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), believe that this legislation will be the biggest piece of labor law in the past decade as well as a step toward sectoral bargaining. Similar efforts have happened in New York, Seattle, and Detroit. Major opposition occurred from a coalition of fast-food franchises that gathered enough signatures to place the referendum on the 2024 ballot. Read more.

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