Annette Bernhardt. Labor Standards and the Reorganization of Work: Gaps in Data and Research

Monday, April 21, 2014 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

Labor Standards and the Reorganization of Work:  Gaps in Data and Research

A common but understudied argumentis that the reorganization of work has contributed to the deterioration of labor standards in the US over the past four decades.  Yet existing aggregate data do not show a strong, unambiguous increase in key measures of nonstandard work arrangements such as temp jobs, part-time work and independent contracting; investigating a link to trends in distributional wage outcomes is therefore premature.  Instead, this paper identifies data gaps and research questions that need to be answered, in order to better understand trends in workplace restructuring during the era of growing wage inequality.

Annette Bernhardt is a visiting professor at the UC Berkeley sociology department, as well as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.  Previously she was policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project, where she coordinated policy analysis and research support for campaigns around living wage jobs, enforcement of workers’ rights and accountable development. Her current research tracking the low-wage recovery and growing inequality has received widespread media coverage, and she has also been a leader in collaborating with immigrant worker centers to develop innovative models of community-based research. Bernhardt’s most recent book is the co-edited The Gloves-Off Economy: Workplace Standards at the Bottom of America's Labor Market.  She has also published widely in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, the American Sociological Review, and the Journal of Labor Economics, among others.  Bernhardt received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1993.