More jobs, but not a full recovery. Better wages, but fewer unions — and, as a consequence, weaker protections for workers. And gaping inequalities by race and ethnicity.
That’s the picture painted in the 2021 edition of the State of Working Wisconsin, an annual assessment that COWS, a University of Wisconsin research and policy center, has been producing for more than two decades.
COWS Associate Director Laura Dresser acknowledges a widespread urge to get “back to normal” under those conditions.
“But ‘normal’ for low-wage workers has long been unsustainable, leaving too many families struggling to get by,” she writes. “Adding jobs is important, but ensuring strong job quality and supports for low-wage workers is equally important.”