What makes 
a job “good”?

It goes without saying that without a decent wage, workers find it difficult to get by. A common benchmark used by labor researchers in the U.S. and abroad is two-thirds of the national median wage–meaning that in 2010 dollars, earning at least $11.73 per hour moved a worker above low-wage work. But job quality goes way beyond this figure…


Good jobs Raise the Floor…Workers achieve economic stability through decent wages and benefits, stable schedules, well-structured work responsibilities, safety, a sense of fairness and respect, and good communication with managers.

Stable scheduling

“…unpredictable hours and schedules exacerbate financial instability because workers cannot plan or save money when the number of hours they work and their schedules change from week to week.”

Benefits & Flexibility

An Oxfam America study stated that one in seven (14 percent) low-wage workers reported losing a job in the past four years because of getting sick or caring for a child or parent.”

Good jobs also Build LaddersWorkers advance by gaining skills and building relevant work experience.

Opportunity & Experience

“Microenterprise jobs in this study provide opportunity for those who experience significant challenges in the labor market, including immigrants, seniors, younger adults just entering the workforce, and those without college degrees.”


“Successful companies have cultivated more skilled and satisfied employees by cross-training them to perform a variety of tasks in different functional areas.”

And a sense of purpose, happiness, positive engagement, and work friendships also contribute to the quality of work life. This is the idea of gainful employment.


“Job holders describe positive work environments that offer meaningful work, the opportunity to build skills, and provide a launching pad for career development, income stability, and work flexibility.”