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Labor Market Policies

Labor market policies and programs shape the rules governing the dynamics between employers and employees

Labor market policies and programs have important impacts on low- and moderate-income workers. Policies on occupational licensure and non-compete contracts—when poorly designed—can reduce opportunities to access good jobs. Workforce services programs and unemployment insurance aim to support workers while they look for those good jobs. We conduct research to provide leaders with high-quality information as they seek to remove barriers and improve outcomes for workers and the overall labor market. Our focus is on the impacts of both long-established labor market policies and new initiatives, such as guaranteed basic income programs.

Minneapolis Fed evaluation of the City of Minneapolis Guaranteed Basic Income pilot

In 2022, the City of Minneapolis began a guaranteed basic income pilot that included $500 monthly payments to 200 recipients over a two-year period. To learn what effects this pilot may have on its participants, the city selected the Minneapolis Fed to conduct a rigorous evaluation through a randomized controlled trial. The Minneapolis Fed’s role in this project is as a neutral, trusted research body working in the public interest to study policies affecting labor market dynamics in low- and moderate-income communities. Program evaluation and research insights are intended to inform policymakers, researchers, and others who seek to understand the potential impacts and tradeoffs of basic income programs.

Project resources:

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis building and logo
Occupational Licensing as a Barrier to Entry for Immigrants
A woman attends a virtual meeting at home, via her laptop. She's seated at her dining room table, in front of a large window, and appears engaged with what she's viewing onscreen.
How the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment program
Fixing labor market rules that limit workers, key image
Fixing labor market rules that limit workers
Occupational licensing requirements limit employment options for immigrants key image
Occupational licensing requirements can limit employment options for immigrants
How occupational licensing limits access to jobs among workers of color, key image
How occupational licensing limits access to jobs among workers of color
Non-compete contracts sideline low-wage workers, key image
Non-compete contracts sideline low-wage workers