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Raising job quality and wages to help fix jobs crisis

About this blog: This Labor Day weekend the plight of workers is center stage as the jobs picture looks ever more murky and President Obama is set to address both houses on Congress on the issue on Thursday. Among the many voices speaking out on how to improve the employment picture are Paul Osterman, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the late Beth Shulman, who was chair of the board of the National Employment Law Project and co-chair of the Fairness Initiative on Low-Wage Work. In their book “Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone,” published this month by the Russell Sage Foundation, they argue that the jobs crisis is partly the result of too many sub-standard jobs in the country: jobs that don’t provide living wages, health insurance, or much hope of upward mobility. The authors argue for enactment of policies to help employers improve job quality. Here, Osterman describes how companies benefit by lifting wages and giving workers more opportunities.

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