Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a report examining new opportunities for the Biden-Harris administration to improve job quality and access for LGBTQI+ workers. Despite the record 7.9 million new jobs created over the past year, LGBTQI+ individuals still face many of the same barriers that have excluded them from the U.S. economy for decades. Between the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) as well as the president’s economic agenda, the federal government has a significant role to play in ensuring these major investments create well-paying jobs with decent benefits—and expanding access to those jobs to LGBTQI+ workers.
“Discrimination and workforce exclusion contribute to higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and housing instability among LGBTQI+ Americans,” said Sharita Gruberg, vice president of the LGBTQI+ Research and Communications Project and co-author of the report. “In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing economic challenges and disparities, making it all the more critical that the federal government leverage these major investments to ensure that LGBTQI+ people have a fair chance at achieving economic security.”
“Raising standards for government workers and contractors can improve the lives of millions of workers from all walks of life,” added Karla Walter, senior director of Employment Policy at CAP and co-author of the report. “The Biden-Harris administration should leverage the new IIJA and existing government spending programs to expand access and opportunity for LGBTQI+ workers both inside and outside of government, while ensuring LGBTQI+ workers are able to use their voice on the job.”
Specifically, the authors recommend that the administration take the following steps:
- Collect better data on the economic well-being of LGBTQI+ Americans.
- Ensure that jobs funded through federal spending are good jobs, with decent wages and benefits, for LGBTQI+ workers and their families.
- Make existing anti-discrimination protections real by empowering LGBTQI+ workers to stand up for their rights.
- Build pathways to good jobs through apprenticeships and training focused on LGBTQI+ workers and youth.
- Support workers’ right to come together in solidarity and promote collective bargaining as a means of strengthening protections for LGBTQI+ workers.
- Lead through example by ensuring that the federal government is a model employer for its direct public employees.
Read the report: “New Opportunities for the Biden-Harris Administration To Create Good Jobs for LGBTQI+ Workers” by Aurelia Glass, Sharita Gruberg, Caroline Medina, and Karla Walter
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