Economic Analysis and Research Network



Washington, DC

Tax-Exempt Status:





Naomi Walker


Labor-aligned umbrella research group

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The Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) is a national umbrella group for 58 pro-organized labor research organizations. EARN’s website contains a database of research papers produced by its members.

EARN is a project of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a left-of-center research organization closely affiliated with labor unions. All EARN personnel are EPI employees. Despite claiming to be non-partisan, EPI is largely funded by labor unions and union-aligned groups, has numerous union officers on its governing board, and advocates for policies on their behalf. EARN is the EPI’s structure for unifying allied pro-union groups across the country for concerted research efforts, and is likewise funded by labor unions and run by Naomi Walker, who worked for the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees for 20 years.


Economic Policy

The Economic Analysis Research Network supports left-of-center economic policies and regulations, most of which benefit labor unions. EARN supports government-mandated paid sick days, government-mandated paid family leave, government-mandated overtime work rules, a higher minimum wage, and extensive government investment in infrastructure. EARN also opposes “preemption,” or the ability of higher-level (usually state) governments to override lower government policies. 1

Racial Issues

EARN’s summary of its view on “racial justice” calls for solidarity between racial minorities and low-income communities. It claims that special interest groups are funding efforts to prevent an increase in the minimum wage, oppose government-mandated sick leave, and fight collective bargaining power, while simultaneously working to undermine racial minorities, the elderly, students, and the disabled through voter suppression efforts. 2

During the nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd, EARN released a statement in support of Black Lives Matter and reforms to combat “systematic racism.” EARN presented all research from its members groups related to racial issues, including an Economic Policy Institute Report claiming that racism is one of the two most lethal pre-existing conditions for COVID-19. The EARN letter also recommended a few “tools for being anti-racist,” including the controversial books White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson, and How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. DiAngelo, Dyson, and Kendi are radical far-left members of the Black Lives Matter movement. 3

Forty-one of EARN’s member groups also released statements in support of demonstrators. 4


State of Working

State of Working is a project which asks member groups in each state to generate annual reports on the conditions of working families. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the reports asserted that states were experiencing sluggish economic growth and limited prosperity, and recommended increased government spending on education and poverty-relief programs. 5

State of Rural

State of Rural is a project which focuses on the economic concerns of rural Americans, particularly racial minorities. Many of the project’s publications note the relatively slow economic growth of rural areas of states compared to cities. 6

EARN in the South

In 2017, the Economic Analysis and Research Center launched EARN in the South, a project of 13 member groups in southern states to research policies to support Southern working families. The project places race at the center of its analysis, and advocates for state governments to increase spending, subsidize childcare, and implement guaranteed family leave. 7


The Economic Analysis and Research Network runs an annual conference called EarnConversations where it gathers representatives from its member groups to discuss their research and advocacy. 8


The Economic Analysis and Research Network is funded by numerous labor unions and left-of-center grantmaking organizations. At EarnConversations 2020, EARN listed the following ongoing funders:9

EARN also receives funding from the Omidyar Network which sponsors a fellowship at EARN. 10

From 2001-2003, EARN received $230,000 from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking foundation. 11


Naomi Walker is the director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network. She previously worked with labor unions for two decades and as an activist in her early career. After attending Duke University and working as a training coordinator for the Ohio Youth Services Network, Walker served as the Midwest regional field organizer of the Black Student Leadership Network of the Children’s Defense Fund. Starting in 1997, Walker worked in a variety of roles at the AFL-CIO for almost 12 years, eventually becoming director of government affairs for the entire organization. She briefly left to serve as an associate deputy secretary in the Department of Labor under President Barack Obama but returned to the AFL-CIO less than a year later to resume her work for almost three years. In 2012, Walker became assistant to the president at the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. In 2018, she joined the Economic Policy Institute and became director of EARN. 12

Member Groups

As of September 2020, the Economic Analysis and Research Network contains 58 organizations in 42 states and Washington, D.C. Its members are. 13


  1. Issues and projects.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  2. “Racial Justice.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  3. “Black Lives Matter & Anti-Racist Resources.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  4. “Black Lives Matter & Anti-Racist Resources.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  5. “State of Working X.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  6. “State of Rural XX.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  7. “EARN in the South.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  8. “EARNConversations.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  9. “EARNConversations 2020.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  10. “Our Team.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  11. “Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN).” Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  12. “Naomi Walker.” LinkedIn. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  13. “Our Network.” EARN. Accessed September 30, 2020.
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Economic Analysis and Research Network

Washington, DC