Washington-based think tank The Aspen Institute have published a 30-page report to outline the ways to ensure that job quality remains a focus during the post-pandemic recovery. “To Build Back Better, Job Quality is the Key” opens by outlining what job quality stands for and how design improvements can be made. The second half of the report looks into allocations relevant to the scope of Federal government involvement, local government co-ordination and enterprises themselves.

Good quality jobs can be identified when looking at their components: Pay, Schedule, Benefits, Working Conditions and soft factors about agency and respect at work. While acknowledging the usefulness of collective co-ordination, the report also suggests that employers can take on Job Quality independently. Whether this is feasible - to incur training costs during onboarding - the report questions, calling for the role of public policy to provide incentives “tilted toward the advantage of business models that provide good jobs.”

Biden’s “Build Back Better” campaign is highlighted. At the federal level, the report encourages government to co-ordinate different agencies, develop a scale for measuring job quality and to profile and promote models used by model employers. A hard recommendation is to pay $15ph on all government contracts.

Meanwhile economic development bodies and local government can play a role by connecting employers with training agencies, a recommendation shared with Brookings Institute. The syncing of workforce development organizations and workers themselves for gaining empirical insights is proposed.

Read and download the full report at aspeninstitute.org