Bio

Heidi Shierholz is the Chief Economist for the US Department of Labor.  Previously she was a labor market economist with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington, DC. She joined EPI in August 2007. In this position, she researched, wrote, and spoke widely on the economy and economic policy, particularly as it affects middle- and low-income families in regards to employment, unemployment, labor force participation, and wage, income and wealth inequality.  She also focused on young workers, unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, the effects of immigration on wages in the US labor market, and the causes of (and solutions to) the weak labor market recovery in the aftermath of the Great Recession. 

While at EPI she coauthored multiple editions of The State of Working America, EPI’s flagship publication, an ongoing in-depth analysis of data on incomes, wages, jobs, unemployment, wealth, mobility, and poverty. She is a frequent contributor to broadcast and radio news outlets, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and NPR, and is regularly quoted in print and online media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and the Huffington Post. She has repeatedly been called to testify in Congress on labor market issues, including unemployment insurance and immigration.  She is a member of the board of directors of the DC Employment Justice Center.

Before coming to Washington, she served as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario, teaching labor economics and econometrics. Prior to that, she received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. Prior to Michigan, she taught calculus and statistics in the mathematics department of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and also worked as a statistician in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC. She received an M.S. in Statistics from Iowa State University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Grinnell College.

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