Outcome: Work in the United States

Describe working conditions in the United States

The job market in the United States is meant to be a meritocracy that creates social stratifications based on individual achievement. Economic forces, such as outsourcing and automation, are polarizing the workforce, with most job opportunities being either low-level, low-paying manual jobs or high-level, high-paying jobs based on abstract skills. Women’s role in the workforce has increased, although women have not yet achieved full equality. Immigrants play an important role in the U.S. labor market. The changing economy has forced more people into poverty even if they are working. Welfare, Social Security, and other social programs exist to protect people from the worst effects of poverty.

What you’ll learn to do:

  • Describe the current U.S. workforce and the trend of polarization
  • Explain how women and immigrants have changed the modern U.S. workforce
  • Understand the basic elements of poverty in the U.S. today

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: Recent Economic Conditions in the United States
  • Reading: Work in the United States
  • Reading: Poverty in the United States
  • Self-Check: Work in the United States