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Stevenson describes Biden report, current labor market

March 8, 2022

A new report from the Biden administration highlights how employer practices, including collusion and constraints on competiton, are limiting workers' choices and wages. Betsey Stevenson, professor of public policy and economics, explained the cause of those limitations.

Stevenson argued wage gains generally come about when a worker changes jobs or has a credible offer from outside that will encourage the current employer to provide an increase.

“Companies are well aware of this,” she said in an interview in The New York Times., so they rally around a simple solution: “If we just stop competing, it will be better for everybody. .. The fact that workers are getting less than they used to is a longstanding problem."

The COVID-19 pandemic, though, has resulted in a hot labor market, where workers have the power to negotiate for benefits.

“Surveys show that workers are hungry for flexibility, better work-life balance, and want to be able to retain opportunities to work from home,” Stevenson told Industry Week. “Parents are particularly focused on being able to balance work with… spending time with their kids.”

Read the news items featuring Stevenson: