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Research Archive

September 6, 2023

Working from Home Has Increased More Modestly Than Many Believe

The shock of the COVID-19 pandemic created urgent demand for “high frequency” national statistics. Prior to the pandemic, many economic indicators were available only on an annual basis (or even less frequently). One important exception was the unemployment rate, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates every month. The unemployment rate jumped more than threefold—from…

August 3, 2023

Expanding Economic Opportunities Through Evidence-Based Sector Training

Read the PDF. Introduction The Workforce Futures Initiative is a research collaboration among the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Project on Workforce at Harvard Kennedy School’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. The initiative aims to develop concise and actionable reviews of exist­ing research for federal, state, and local policymakers. Since August…

July 31, 2023

The Utah Model: Workforce Programs and Services Integration Tool Kit

Read the PDF. Executive Summary This tool kit provides an updated overview of Utah’s innovative approach to managing and allocating federal funds for workforce development and social assistance programs. Utah’s designation as a single state area under the Workforce Investment Act and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has enhanced its ability to leverage federal…

July 28, 2023

The Time Is Now for Workforce Innovation

Over the past two years, I have had the honor and privilege of steering AEI’s Workforce Future’s Initiative in collaboration with colleagues at The Brookings Institution and The Harvard Kennedy School’s Project on Workforce. Together, we’ve convened experts to evaluate evidence of workforce program success, discuss workforce policy, and identify priorities for new research on the future…

July 27, 2023

Time to Do Something About the NILFs

The overall employment situation looks great in the United States—so why are so many men not working? The Wall Street Journal reports that work among prime-age Americans—those between 25 and 54 years of age—is at the highest rate in two decades, driven by rising wages and worker shortages. After years of decline in labor force participation, this is certainly welcome…

July 27, 2023

Perspective: Can artificial intelligence teach us to be better workers?

So-called ‘soft skills’ are in short supply in the workforce and society at large. AI could help us get better A few weeks ago, McKinsey & Company published updated estimates on when key anticipated characteristics of artificial intelligence might arrive — including things like creativity, logical reasoning, and social/emotional reasoning, sensing and output. McKinsey’s timeline for increased capacity across a range of such capabilities…

March 27, 2023

Here Are the Kinds of Jobs Chat AI Is Likeliest to Affect

A new analysis estimates that a fifth of all U.S. jobs are in the category most vulnerable to disruption. Researchers at OpenAI—the company behind ChatGPT—and the University of Pennsylvania came out last week with a first look at the potential labor market impact of chat technology. If these initial “guesstimates” hold up, we might be looking at…

January 24, 2023

“Gig,” Contract, and Nontraditional Workers

A recurring theme of the Workforce Futures Initiative has been how little we know about the evolving needs of workers and businesses or even how the nation’s spatially and numerically vast labor market actually operates. This is especially true when we consider the “gig” or contract worker economy, which has grown dramatically in the past…