Since the end of the Great Recession, almost 12 million jobs have been created — but most have been in low-wage occupations and at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants. Average wages for working Americans have dropped 23 percent. It’s become clear that job creation does not equate to lasting economic change. In order to reverse the troubling trends we’re seeing, we no longer find it defensible to focus on job creation alone. We must shift our focus to the creation of higher quality jobs that are good for workers and their families, good for businesses, and good for communities.
Through a better understanding of what defines a quality job and a set of practical methods for measuring the quality of jobs created, we believe Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and others in the impact investing community will be better positioned to make more effective investments that support good jobs for workers, businesses, and communities.
This discussion paper has been made possible thanks to the support of the Surdna Foundation, and is the result of a year and a half of extensive research on the topic of quality job creation. The paper is the first in a series of research under PCV’s new vision to make quality job creation the norm, and builds on our ten plus years of experience working with clients like CalPERS, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Northern California Community Loan Fund to help them measure and better understand their impact.
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