Rosenfeld’s research and teaching focus on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the United States and other advanced democracies. His publications appear in a wide variety of scholarly journals, including the American Sociological Review and the American Journal of Sociology. The article co-authored with Meredith Kleykamp, “Organized Labor and Racial Wage Inequality in the United States,” won the 2013 award for distinguished scholarly article given by the Labor and Labor Movements section of the American Sociological Association.
Rosenfeld’s recent book, “What Unions No Longer Do” (Harvard University Press, 2014) shows in detail the consequences of labor’s decline: curtailed advocacy for better working conditions, weakened support for immigrants’ economic assimilation, and ineffectiveness in addressing wage stagnation among African-Americans. The book has received wide attention in the national press.
New legislation designed to reverse a decades-long decline in worker’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act could play a critical role in reducing the growing income gap between rich and poor in America, according to the recent congressional testimony of a sociologist from Washington University in St. Louis.
The victory reveals growing recognition on the part of union and non-union workers of what a weakened labor movement leads to: lower wage growth, higher poverty, and, in general, a two-tiered economy decisively tilted toward the interests of the richest among us.
This week Missouri voters will have a chance to weigh in on an issue that has generated overheated rhetoric – and bundles of dollars – from both sides. Proposition A, the state’s “right to work” bill, is on the August ballot.
The Democratic establishment’s abandonment of organized labor represents one of the most bewildering strategic moves by a major political party in generations. Many have written of the economic consequences of labor’s decline. But the political consequences of the disassociation are far-reaching, ongoing, and grow direr every day as union memberships continue to disappear in formerly-Democratic strongholds.
A dramatic decline in the density of U.S. labor unions since the 1970s has resulted in lower wages for both union and nonunion workers, suggests a new study led by Jake Rosenfeld, associate professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.