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The Informal Economy: The History of Workers' Rights

From the beginning of our nation’s history our laws, institutions and social norms have contributed to the creation of a segmented or dual economy. We look at different eras and movements defining the informal economy and the systematic dislocation of many people from the labor market — including people of color, women and immigrants. To overcome these barriers to entry into the regulated job market, many have found alternative ways to make a living in a parallel informal economy.

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