Careers Research Assistant – State Policy and Research/EARN at EPI 

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The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the nation’s leading progressive economic think tank, is seeking a Research Assistant (RA) who is highly organized, detail-oriented, adaptable, and can gather, understand, analyze, and compellingly present a wide variety of economic data. This entry-level position will support the research and writing of EPI’s researchers and policy experts, provide programmatic support for the State Policy and Research team, and assist EPI’s national network of state and local policy groups—the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN)—with data, research, and technical assistance.

About the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN): EARN is a nationwide network of state-based research, policy, and advocacy organizations advancing an inclusive, equitable, worker-centered economy through state and local policy change. The network consists of 56 organizations in 44 states and the District of Columbia. EARN groups conduct research, provide data analysis, and develop and advocate for state and local economic policies that raise wages, improve workplace benefits, support families, and advance economic, racial, and gender equity.

Besides competitive pay and excellent benefits (detailed below), EPI RAs receive extensive training in data management, programming, and content management systems. RAs on the State Policy and Research team work on a wide range of issues, including state labor markets (wages, employment, unemployment), workplace policies and supports (minimum wages, paid leave, unemployment insurance), economic development, unions and worker power, economic impacts of structural racism, and racial and gender-pay inequities. EPI RAs regularly go on to attend competitive graduate programs in economics, political science, public policy and law. In short, the EPI RA position is one of the best launching pads in the D.C. policymaking ecosystem to begin a career using in economic policy research from a progressive perspective.

This position is based in Washington, DC. EPI is a hybrid workplace with attendance in our Washington, D.C., office required at least two days per week (currently Tuesday and Wednesday). 

What You Will Do

  • Support the research, data analysis, and technical assistance needs of EPI/EARN’s projects, campaigns, and state partners. 
  • Collect, analyze, and produce visualizations of a variety of economic data for use in EARN and EPI publications, presentations, and online tools
  • Produce tables, figures, literature reviews, and research summaries with meticulous documentation of methods, data, and processes 
  • Co-author and assist in the production of reports, issue briefs, blog posts, resource packets, presentations, and other materials by EPI and EARN member organization staff 
  • Assist in reviewing, editing, and fact-checking materials from both internal and external authors 
  • Help develop and maintain state-level data packages and tools for EARN state groups 
  • Provide technical assistance to EARN’s state and local partners, in consultation with other EPI staff 
  • Produce custom statistics and data sets for EARN members to use in their analyses and advocacy.
  • Update and maintain EARN data packages and tools 
  • Assist in the management of EARN’s online resources, including the EARN website and listserv.
  • Support the State Policy and Research team’s programmatic needs: helping to manage projects, drafting strategy documents and memos, helping facilitate webinars and meetings, and assisting the team’s State Policy Strategists as they plan, organize, and facilitate cross-state work among EARN member groups. 
  • Attend meetings and conferences to represent EPI and EARN, as needed, and prepare short memos summarizing the key events that took place. 
  • Help to plan and staff EARNCon, EARN’s annual conference for state partners and allies, as well as other network events.
  • Assist in the training of new EPI/EARN Research Assistants, interns, and new EARN member staff. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Who You Are

We do not expect that every candidate will have this full range of experience, but the following qualities and experience are highly desirable:

  • A bachelor’s degree in economics, math, or other related social science field (e.g., public policy or political science) with strong quantitative skills 
  • Experience with and demonstrated commitment to economic justice, worker power and collective bargaining, and racial and gender equity 
  • A love of learning and a desire to explore a diverse set of economic, gender, and racial justice policy issues 
  • Training and experience with analysis of microdata, including the use of statistical software such as Stata, or R
  • Familiarity with labor market and microeconomic survey data
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to create materials for a wide range of audiences
  • Facility with the Microsoft Office Suite, with expertise in Excel. Knowledge of WordPress, Highcharts, and/or GIS a bonus. 
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently, but also able to collaborate and work as part of a team and with diverse partners 
  • Willingness to handle occasional long hours and travel 

Salary and Benefits

EPI is a unionized workplace with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). This position is the bargaining unit and reports to the Director of State Policy and Research.

The salary for this position ranges from $58,700 to $61,000, dependent on experience, plus benefits.

EPI offers an ​​excellent benefits package, including generous paid time off, a 9.25% employer-provided 401k retirement contribution, partial tuition reimbursement, eight weeks of parental leave, and fully employer-funded medical, vision, dental, short- and long-term disability, and life insurance for individual employees.


This position is based at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. As a condition of employment, EPI requires all staff to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination which meets the guidelines recommended by the CDC. Currently, the CDC recommends that everyone ages five years and older receive 1 dose of updated (2023–2024 Formula) mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

To Apply 

Candidates should send a cover letter highlighting their relevant experience and explaining their interest in working at the Economic Policy Institute, resume, and writing sample to with “EARN Research Assistant” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

EPI believes that having a diverse and inclusive workplace not only strengthens the institute’s work but is also essential for understanding and creating economic policies that support all working people. We encourage applicants who bring lived experience and nontraditional backgrounds to apply to our positions. 

EPI is an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior history of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, caregiver status, or other categories protected by law.

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