Reports and Data
Report
The tech sector and professional services of the United States are world class; they draw skilled workers from every country, akin to professional European football teams. The same could be said of top universities in the United States. But the rest of the economy — especially the U.S. healthcare and education sectors — are not world class, and the country’s top universities serve just a tiny fraction of the U.S. adult population. These sectors — as well as housing — have racked up tremendous expenses for consumers, businesses and taxpayers but provided relatively little value in return, as this report will describe in detail. As a result, the great strengths of the United States are offset by great weaknesses.
Report
As the largest sector within the nation’s clean energy economy, energy efficiency accounts for about three out of every four American clean energy jobs. In total, these technologies support almost 1.9 million jobs across the country, and 889,050 of these workers spend the majority of their time supporting the energy efficiency portion of their business.2 Employers across the roughly 165,000 establishments that conduct energy efficiency work are optimistic about business growth, projecting a collective 13 percent employment growth rate over 2016—or an additional 245,000 jobs.
Report
Platform-based freelancing is not yet substantially displacing payroll employment—but that could change. Despite the uptick in nonemployer contractors, payroll employment in “rides and rooms” industries has not declined during the last five years. Instead, payroll employment has increased in these industries, particularly in the passenger ground transit sectors.
Report
The shifting demand for skills in the modern workplace may be working to the benefit of women. Women, who represent 47% of the overall workforce, make up the majority of workers in jobs where social or analytical skills are relatively more important, 55% and 52%, respectively. For their part, men are relatively more engaged in jobs calling for more intensive physical and manual skills, making up 70% of workers in those occupations. This is likely to have contributed to the shrinking of the gender pay gap from 1980 to 2015 given that wages are rising much faster in jobs requiring social and analytical skills.
Report
The resulting report, Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy, finds that up to 162 million people in Europe and the United States—or 20 to 30 percent of the working-age population—engage in some form of independent work. While demographically diverse, independent workers largely fit into four segments (exhibit): free agents, who actively choose independent work and derive their primary income from it; casual earners, who use independent work for supplemental income and do so by choice; reluctants, who make their primary living from independent work but would prefer traditional jobs; and the financially strapped, who do supplemental independent work out of necessity.
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