Understanding the New York City Workforce

CSS conducts original research and data analysis to determine what is happening in the New York City labor market, which demographic groups are the most affected by high unemployment, and what lies behind trends in poverty. In this way we are able to formulate policy strategies designed to improve employment and other outcomes for those groups most impacted by joblessness and poverty.

Increasing Opportunities for Low-Wage Workers

Low-wage workers comprise a significant percentage of the New York City workforce. Yet we take issue with the term "working poor." CSS seeks to raise the floor of wages and benefits so that working New Yorkers can lift themselves out of poverty:

  • We participate in living wage and raising the minimum wage campaigns.
  • We advocate for comprehensive on-the-job benefits for low-wage workers, such as paid sick days and quality, affordable health insurance.
  • We conduct original research on low-income families and low-wage workers, including our annual Unheard Third survey, to determine the most important issues they face in making ends meet.

Our Vision for a Working New York

The promise of a better New York requires a commitment to better opportunities. CSS believes that work is the most effective pathway out of poverty for those we serve; but we must set the conditions for people to be self-sustaining, thriving, active citizens.  Through our data analysis and policy proposals, we are taking on the tough economic issues impacting our city's future—and leading the charge for job creation, skills training, and broad access to upward mobility for New York City's workforce.

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