Policymakers can also support widespread prosperity by ensuring that workers who want to form a union are able to do so. Research shows that unions reduce wage inequality and increase economic mobility.33 For example, children who grow up in areas with a high union density typically rank relatively higher in income distribution as adults than those from areas with few union members.34
COVID-19 has sparked a national recession that has left Americans from all walks of life reeling and has disproportionately affected communities of color. Federal policymakers can help get millions of Americans back to work by supporting economic recovery through investment in critically needed public infrastructure. Yet in order to maximize the benefits of this spending, policymakers must be intentional about ensuring that this investment creates good jobs that are available to all working Americans. They can do so by requiring all private sector beneficiaries of an infrastructure package to comply with a robust package of job quality standards. This will both help everyday Americans move beyond the current crisis and foster widespread prosperity.
Karla Walter is the senior director of Employment Policy at the Center American Progress.
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