Financial Security in the Workplace Financial Security in the Workplace

Commonwealth seeks to make the financial security of workers an explicit goal of employment practices.

Employment is key to financial security. In part this is self-evident: a job provides income, and income supports household consumption and investment. But wages should also foster security: a buffer from shocks, protection from risk, and a reasonable hope and pathway to long-term mobility.

But a job can also exacerbate financial insecurity. Wages may be inadequate to make ends meet. Unsteady hours create family instability. Uneven provision of the social protections and supports most Americans receive through the workplace leaves households vulnerable. Limited opportunities for advancement offer an uncertain future.

Workplace-based interventions have great opportunity to improve the financial security of workers. Employers – the market actor with the most control over the job environment – are most likely to act if they have a clear appreciation of the self-interest of this approach.  To achieve the most lasting change, employers must come to believe that this outcome will benefit employee and firm alike. 

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