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News from EPI EPI’s Heidi Shierholz Named Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor

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Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist at the Economic Policy Institute, will be appointed Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, it was announced today. A nationally recognized expert known for her analysis of labor market and employment trends, Shierholz is a coauthor of The State of Working America, 11th and 12th Editions and the author of an annual report on labor market conditions for recent high school and college graduates. Shierholz also created the “Missing Worker” index, an indicator that estimates the portion of the large decline in labor force participation that is likely driven by widespread economic weakness rather than by workers’ voluntary decision to stop seeking work.

“EPI’s loss is America’s gain,” said EPI President Lawrence Mishel. “Heidi clearly understands that the American worker should be front and center of economic policymaking, and she will bring that knowledge and passion with her to the Labor Department.”

Heidi Shierholz joined the Economic Policy Institute in 2007. Her research has centered on economic policy as it affects middle- and low-income families, especially in regards to employment, unemployment, labor force participation, compensation, income and wealth inequality, young workers, unemployment insurance, immigration, and the minimum wage. Shierholz has repeatedly testified in Congress on labor market issues, and is a frequent commentator on economic trends. She has appeared regularly in news sources such as Marketplace Radio, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. 

“Heidi Shierholz is a world-class economist with a rare ability to translate her important work into English, for both policymakers and the broader public,” said Josh Bivens, EPI Research and Policy Director. “Her skillset has been an enormous asset to EPI and will be an asset to the administration.”

Shierholz received her PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan and was an assistant professor at the University of Toronto before joining EPI.