Katie Johnston

Each day it becomes harder for all but the highest earners to get by in this country. Average American workers are beset by lack of opportunity and the fight for livable wages, along with nagging questions about their relevance. Will their skills remain viable in a changing economy with more automation? Will their jobs be sent overseas? Small business owners, meanwhile, face their own challenges. And the labor unions that once hovered over it all are increasingly less powerful.This beat is an exploration of those shifts, with an emphasis on what it all means for our workforce and for families trying to put food on the table.

Katie Johnston previously wrote about travel and tourism for the Globe and worked as the paper’s music and entertainment editor.

Latest stories

A court ruling boosts au pairs’ pay, but it puts families in a bind

By , Globe Staff

A new mandate to pay childcare providers the state minimum wage immediately raises annual costs by as much as $17,000.

Are you ready for a robot boss? Many workers say that yes, they are

By , Globe Staff

Artificial intelligence is everywhere. In our Google searches, in our mobile banking apps, in our thermostats and refrigerators and endless requests for Alexa. At work, AI tells sales reps which accounts they should pursue and helps lawyers analyze piles of contracts. Is it any wonder that we’re starting to think it might be OK if the machines take over?

Citing religious beliefs, electrician sues SEIU, Boston College over mandatory union dues

By , Globe Staff

The plaintiff, a Muslim member of SEIU, informed the school and union last fall that his religious beliefs conflicted with paying union dues and asked that the money be diverted to charity.

Boston’s Freedom Trail guides are staging their own rebellion

By Maysoon Khan and , Globe Correspondent and Globe Staff

The guides got so fed up with their working conditions that they voted to unionize in February. But as negotiations stretch into their ninth month, little progress has been made.