If you glance at official numbers in the news, the economy appears to be doing just fine. Unemployment is down, and household incomes are up relative to the recession years. Working Americans know a very different reality. More than one-fifth of adults are behind on their bills, more than one-fourth skipped necessary medical care in 2017 because they were unable to pay for it, an average working family can’t afford to buy a home in more than 70% of the country, and four out of 10 say if they needed to come up with $400 they’d have to sell something or borrow the money. That means that millions of American families are only one injury, engine problem, or new baby away from financial catastrophe.
We believe that as a society, we simply must do better at creating jobs that are good for workers, good for businesses, and good for communities. As part of our effort to elevate the importance of quality jobs in building wealth and opportunity for everyday Americans, PCV has engaged foundations, CDFIs, and other impact investors — as well as policymakers, community advocates, government, and business, to identify practical solutions to support the growth of good jobs nationally. PCV has conducted field-leading research around quality jobs (Moving Beyond Job Creation, 2016; and Public Policy and Investments in Quality Jobs, 2017), and in 2018 we and our CDFI partners piloted Good Jobs, Good Business: a practical toolkit to help small business owners create jobs that boost the bottom line.
The toolkit provides practical tips, guidance, and examples for reducing staff turnover and enhancing business results by creating jobs that pay higher wages, offer benefits, provide stable schedules, and help employees build both skills and wealth. We focused our pilot on the retail sector with grant funding through the Reimagine Retail Initiative, a project run by The Aspen Institute and supported by the Walmart Foundation. More than one in ten Americans work in retail — more than manufacturing, construction, or mining — and the industry has a high concentration of low-quality jobs.
Download the Full Toolkit
Pacific Community Ventures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen small businesses, strengthen communities, and create better livelihoods for working people. We believe that by investing in small businesses and making markets work for social good we can create stronger communities without poverty, where everyone has a fair shake and access to good jobs, affordable housing, and healthy food.