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Work, Well-being, and the Middle Class in Illinois; a forum by the Project for Middle Class Renewal

Event Type
academic, graduate, labor, labor and employment, labor education, panel discussion, social justice
Project for Middle Class Renewal
Illini Union room 404
Apr 20, 2017   12:00 pm  
Dr. Robby Habans, Dr. Lonnie Golden
Michael Foellmer
Originating Calendar
LER Labor Education Program

As part of an effort to better understand and track the challenges facing Illinois workers and families, researchers from the Project for Middle Class Renewal will present findings from two new reports. The seminar will also include discussion of the implications for public policy.

Additionally, a sample of other reports by the Project for Middle Class Renewal will also be represented on display boards and a limited number of report copies will be available.


Taking the Pulse of Illinois' Middle Class

At the national level, much has been made of the shrinking the middle class, but how has this trend affected Illinois? Though the ideal is deeply woven into the fabric of American political and cultural life, the middle class remains not only difficult to define consistently but also complicated by its intersections with a variety of other dimensions of socio-economic inequality. In this report, the Project for Middle Class Renewal examines key measures of Illinois' middle class to unpack the changing composition, with a focus on its reflection on broader issues of work, inequality, and the landscape of public policy in the state.


Happiness and Objective Well-being Index for Living and Working in the State of Illinois

How well is the state of Illinois doing providing for and helping to improve the well-being of its citizens, including its broad middle class and working families? The index is constructed as a composite compiled from 10 domains of indicators which the vast research literature and other such national and global measurement efforts suggest would accurately gauge people’s satisfaction with their work, labor market and economic climate and life generally. It will integrate available data sources measuring health and subjective well-being, to form a meta-index benchmark. The intention is for the Project for Middle Class Renewal, media and policy-makers to track trends over time, to suggest where improvements are realized and where they may be most needed.


About the Speakers:

Lonnie Golden

Dr. Golden is currently Senior Research Analyst, Project for Middle Class Renewal, University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations. He is also Professor of Economics and Labor & Employment Relations at Penn State University, Abington College. His research analyzes trends in working hours, overtime, overwork, overemployment and underemployment, work schedule flexibility and variability, labor market and workplace flexibility, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and labor laws and policies, worker well-being and happiness, work-sharing, part-time work, time-use, work-family and health consequences, non-standard and contingent employment and employment policies. He is co-editor of two books, including Working Time, and has published research in leading journals such as Industrial Relations, Journal of Business Ethics, Monthly Labor Review, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Applied Economics, Journal of Community, Work & Family, and Journal of Family and Economic Issues. He teaches courses on Labor Economics, Labor Markets and Work-Life Policies and Practices.

Robby Habans

Robby Habans studies urban development and local economies. Broadly, his research examines how geographic difference and institutional change intersect with urban policy, industrial and labor market restructuring, and the possibility of a more equitable, more inclusive economy. Along these lines, recent work has examined local minimum wage ordinances, various forms of contingent work, the evolution of health care as a local economic development concern, and the neighborhood impacts of the criminal justice system, among other topics. Trained as an urban planner and economic geographer, he joins the Project for Middle Class Renewal from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he recently completed a PhD in Urban and Planning and Policy, and from the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. He also holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of New Orleans and has taught courses in urban studies.

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