Good Jobs Are Good for All of Us

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) is leading the fight for a good-jobs economy. We’re building worker power and working for racial and economic justice. We won’t stop until every job is a good job and everyone who wants a job can have one.


is the federal minimum wage. That's about $15,000 annually, which is not enough to support an individual, let alone a family.


of U.S. workers make less than $15 per hour. More people than ever are working in jobs that pay too little and offer too few benefits.


of jobs in the U.S. are racially segregated. People of color are often limited to the lowest paid, least stable, and most dangerous jobs.

What Is a Good Job?

A good job is one that pays a living wage—where one job is enough to pay the bills.

Good jobs provide robust benefits, rights, and protections, and they ensure that people can sustain themselves and their families when they’re out of work. Working conditions at good jobs are safe and just, and workers have a voice to shape the conditions of their job.

Good jobs are for everyone, regardless of race, gender, immigration status, conviction record, or other factors. Good jobs give all workers the opportunity to thrive.

What Is a Good-Jobs Economy?

A good-jobs economy is a just and inclusive economy where all workers have the opportunity to thrive. In a good-jobs economy:

  • Every single job is a good job.
  • Everyone who wants a job can get one.
  • Everyone has economic security between jobs.

A good-jobs economy is built on worker power, where workers together can shape the conditions of their jobs. The needs of everyone—including historically marginalized groups such as women, people of color, immigrants, and workers with records—are included. A good-jobs economy ensures that everyone can enjoy economic security across their lifetime.

What Are the Benefits of a Good-Jobs Economy?

Good jobs are good for workers, good for society, and good for all of us. When workers receive a living wage and robust benefits and protections, it creates more stable and thriving communities. A good-jobs economy lowers poverty rates and reduces crime. People with good jobs are able to provide for themselves and their families.

Good jobs are fundamental to economic security now and in the future. They foster stability and prosperity, laying a robust foundation for sustained economic growth. High-quality jobs create a ripple effect that propels economic development and progress. The enduring impact of a good-jobs economy reverberates for generations to come.

When America’s workers succeed, America’s economy will as well.

What Challenges Are We Up Against?

One of the biggest challenges to a good-jobs economy is structural racism. We face structurally racist policy choices that have produced an inequitable labor market, unjustified corporate power, and anti-worker sentiment in public discourse.

Too many Black workers and workers of color—especially women—have been undervalued and segregated into precarious jobs, subjected to unsafe conditions, cheated out of wages earned, and discriminated against in this labor market. The impact of the systemic segregation of women and people of color into underpaid occupations accounts for a large portion of the gender and racial wage gap.

We are working on structural solutions that not only take on occupational segregation and integration but also include living wages, full benefits, quality of life, and safe conditions for all workers. We seek bold, transformative change.