Child Labor

The Rise of U.S. Child Labor, and How We Can Fight Back

Date: December 5, 2023

Child labor violations are on the rise across the U.S., and in the past two years at least 16 states have considered legislation to roll back protections for young workers. This growing crisis is beginning to draw overdue attention to longstanding gaps and weaknesses in federal and state child labor policies and enforcement systems. 


Please join EPI on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 2 p.m EST (11 a.m. PST) for a discussion on what emerging child labor trends mean for workers and the economy and how state and federal lawmakers can work to strengthen standards. Panelists will discuss why and where exploitative forms of child labor have persisted or re-emerged in the U.S., the legislative landscape at the state and national level, and proactive measures that lawmakers and labor agencies can pursue to improve protections for young people who work.  Register for the webinar here.


  • Jennifer Sherer, Director, State Worker Power Initiative, Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), Economic Policy Institute
  • Nina Mast, State Economic Analyst, Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), Economic Policy Institute
  • David Weil, Professor of Public Policy and former Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor
  • Norma Flores López, Chair of Child Labor Coalition’s Domestic Issues Committee and farmworker advocate 
  • Terri Gerstein, Director, Labor Initiative, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

When: Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. PT

Where: Zoom, YouTube

See related work on Child Labor