Steven Greenhouse is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, where he writes about wages and working conditions, labor organizing, and other workplace issues. Before coming to The Century Foundation, he was a reporter for the New York Times for thirty-one years, spending his last nineteen years there as its labor and workplace reporter, before retiring from the paper in December 2014. He is the author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2019.
As the New York Times’ labor and workplace reporter from 1995 to 2014, he covered myriad topics, including conditions for the nation’s farm workers, the Fight for $15, Walmart’s locking in workers at night, the New York City transit strike, factory disasters in Bangladesh, and Scott Walker’s push to cripple public employee unions.
Greenhouse joined the New York Times in September 1983 as a business reporter, covering steel and other basic industries. He then spent two-and-a-half years as the newspaper’s Midwestern business correspondent based in Chicago. In 1987, he moved to Paris, where he served as the New York Times’ European economics correspondent, covering everything from Western Europe’s economy to the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. After five years in Paris, he served as a New York Times correspondent in Washington for four years, covering economics and the Federal Reserve and then the U.S. Department of State and foreign affairs.
Greenhouse’s most recent book, Beaten Down, Worked Up, looks at key historic episodes that built the nation’s labor unions and shows how unions and worker power helped build the world’s largest, richest middle class as well as a fairer, more democratic America. The book explains how the decline of worker power in recent decades has hurt workers and the nation, fueling income inequality and weakening the voice of workers in politics and policymaking. The book also examines the future of the labor movement, looking at new forms of worker power, such as the Fight for $15, the #RedforEd teachers’ strikes, and some innovative efforts to lift Uber drivers and other gig workers.
A native of Massapequa, New York, Greenhouse is a graduate of Wesleyan University (1973), the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (1975), and NYU Law School, from which he graduated as class valedictorian in 1982.
His first book, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, was published in April 2008 by Knopf. It won the 2009 Sidney Hillman Book Prize for a non-fiction book that advances social justice. Greenhouse has also been honored with the Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club award, a New York Press Club award, and a Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Reporting.
He continues to freelance for, among others, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, the Guardian, the Atlantic, the American Prospect, the Columbia Journalism Review, AARP Magazine, and Nieman Reports.