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The Biden Administration's labor department is hitting the road for 'Good Jobs Summer'

Juliana Kaplan   

The Biden Administration's labor department is hitting the road for 'Good Jobs Summer'
  • Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su is launching a nationwide tour to promote good jobs.
  • The tour aims to highlight the importance of good jobs in pivotal swing states.

Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su is hitting the road — and wants good jobs to follow.

Su is bringing the Department of Labor's "Good Jobs Principles" — a national framework for better working conditions and positions — across the country. And she's hitting several states that may prove pivotal in the 2024 election, with her first stop scheduled in Phoenix. Other stops include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan.

"A good job is one that not only pays family-sustaining wages and benefits, but also one in which workers have a voice, where every worker goes home healthy and safe every day, and where families can get — in the President's words, 'some breathing room,'" Su told BI. "Throughout this summer nationwide tour, I will be highlighting the work that the Department of Labor has done with community partners on the ground to help ensure that every job is a good one, and that every worker feels the commitment that this Administration has made to fight for them."

The tour comes as the Biden Administration faces a continued mismatch between economic reality and perceptions. While the labor market is booming, and wages are still going up, many Americans have felt continually dreary about their economic outlooks over the past few years — what some have termed the vibecession.

But the labor market has emerged as one bright spot and bolstered Americans' perception of the economy in the latest reading of the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index.

"The Biden Administration has made improving job quality for this country's workers a priority—and we're seeing those efforts pay off," Su said.

As part of the tour kickoff, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego will also announce the city's commitment to the Good Jobs Principles. When city officials sign on to the initiative, they commit to the framework as they seek federal funding for different types of projects.

It's the DOL's latest attempt at promoting the idea of "good jobs," and making them more widespread. Part of Su's guiding edicts is to fill the economy with jobs that provide workers security, stability, good pay, and benefits. The Good Jobs Principles framework outlines eight hallmarks of what makes a job good quality; that includes hiring and recruitment from underrepresented backgrounds and doing away with unnecessary educational or credential requirements — a major barrier for many workers. It also includes better pay, benefits, job security, and access.

"It's not just good enough that we have created these jobs when a lot of people can't get to them. So it's embedding equity in the way that we're creating these jobs, " Teresa Acuna, the senior policy advisor and deputy director of the Good Jobs Initiative, said. That could mean everything from training to a transportation voucher to childcare.

"It means taking the more comprehensive look of some of the obstacles that workers have as to why we have a lot of over-representation of people in certain types of jobs versus others," she said.

The tour stops are cities and communities that have already been actively working with the Good Jobs Initiative, as workers receive training and get to work.

"We're not parachuting in," Acuna said. "These are places we have relationships and we're probably going to be revisiting a few times in the next couple of months, but the tour is a snapshot in time of what a lot of this work has been happening already. And that's pretty exciting to us."

Are good jobs a key issue for you in this upcoming election? Contact this reporter at

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