Jasmine Kerrissey

Labor Center Director and Associate Professor of Sociology
Thompson 726
(413) 545-4065

Jasmine Kerrissey has served as Director of the UMass Amherst Labor Center since 2022. She joined UMass in 2012 as a faculty member in the Sociology Department and the Labor Center. Kerrissey received a Ph.D. in Sociology in 2012 from the University of California, Irvine. She also holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.  

Kerrissey’s research focuses on labor movements, work, and inequality. Much of this work asks how workers' organizations have mattered— and what their decline means for workplace, economic, social, and political outcomes.   She has two books. She is co-author, along with Judy Stepan-Norris, of Union Booms and Busts: The Ongoing Struggle over the US Labor Movement (Oxford University Press 2023). Union Booms and Busts uses archival data from 1900 to 2015 to analyze patterns of union density in eleven major industries. They ask how factors such as political and economic climate, strikes and replacement of striking workers, organizing strategies by workers and dis-organizing strategies by employers, and race and gender dynamics at work shape surges and retreats in union strength.  The public dataset is available here. Kerrissey is also co-editor of the book Labor in the Time of Trump (Cornell Univeristy Press 2020).

You can see some of her work on unions and political participationworker safetyCOVID-19income inequality, and race and gender wage equity in the links provided. She is currently working on projects examining work in the public sector. Along with her co-team, she uses administrative data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to analyze the distribution of wages across public sector worplaces by race, gender, and occupation as well as union contexts.

She has published her work in journals such as American Sociological Review, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Social Forces, and Labor Studies Journal. She has won professional awards, including "Best Paper" awards from the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) and United Associated for Labor Education (UALE). Kerrissey's work has also appeared in the Washington Post, including articles on union elections and strikes. She regulalry interviews with media outlets, including NPR, the Boston Globe, Times Magazine, and others.

She teaches courses on U.S. Labor History, Food and Labor, the Sociology of Work, Comparative Labor Movements, and others. Kerrissey is also active in organizing conferences and public facing events that bring students, labor, and community groups together.

Prior to her graduate work, Kerrissey worked as an organizer with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which included Justice for Janitors campaigns and healthcare organizing.