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Intergovernmental Relations and Employment Policy: The United States Experience

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Policies to regulate and support labor markets in the United States have mainly been an initiative of the federal government. Historically, states and localities were reluctant to act independently to build up worker rights and protections for fear of competitively disadvantaging resident industries with added costs. Federal constitutional authority to raise revenue and control commerce among the states governed development of labor market policy in the United States. Labor market support initiatives usually have been forged in difficult economic times with contributions and compromise from the full political spectrum. This paper examines the development of employment policy in the twentieth century by viewing the interplay of federal, state, and local partners. The programs considered include unemployment insurance, training, youth programs, and the employment service. Some attention is also given to governmental policy that influences the geographic mobility of labor. Intergovernmental relations in labor market policy have resulted in a system that performs a wide variety of functions, varies greatly at the local and state levels, but maintains important federal standards nationwide.

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  • Christopher J. O'Leary & Robert A. Straits, 2000. "Intergovernmental Relations and Employment Policy: The United States Experience," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 00-60, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:00-60
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    1. Christopher J. O'Leary & Alena Nesporova & Alexander Samorodov, 2001. "Manual on Evaluation of Labour Market Policies in Transition Economies," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number cjo2001, September.
    2. Christopher J. O’Leary & Burt S. Barnow & Karolien Lenaerts, 2020. "Lessons from the American federal‐state unemployment insurance system for a European unemployment benefits system," International Social Security Review, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 73(1), pages 3-34, January.
    3. Christopher J. O'Leary & Robert A. Straits & Stephen A. Wandner (ed.), 2004. "Job Training Policy in the United States," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number jtp, September.
    4. Christopher J. O'Leary & Robert A. Straits & Stephen A. Wandner, 2004. "U.S. Job Training: Types, Participants and History," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Christopher J. O'Leary & Robert A. Straits & Stephen A. Wandner (ed.), Job Training Policy in the United States, chapter 1, pages 1-20, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    5. Randall W. Eberts & George A. Erickcek, 2002. "The Role of Partnerships in Economic Development and Labor Markets in the United States," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 02-75, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. Christopher J. O'Leary & Randall W. Eberts, 2009. "Employment and Training Policy in the United States during the Economic Crisis," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 10-161, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; intergovernmental; relations; employment; policy; O'Leary; Straits;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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