The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Contact details


Thompson Hall

200 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Office 726


Jasmine 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 joined UMass in 2012 as a faculty member in the Sociology Department and the Labor Center, and began to serve as Director of the Labor Center in 2022.  She teaches courses on U.S. Labor History, Comparative Labor Movements, Food and Labor, and the Sociology of Work.

Kerrissey’s research focuses on labor movements, work, and inequality. She is co-author, along with Judy Stepan-Norris, of Union Boom and Busts: The Ongoing Struggle over the US Labor Movement, forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Union Booms and Busts uses archival data from 1900 to 115 to analyze why workers in some industries have been successful in forming unions, while other workers have not. 

Kerrissey is also interested in how labor movements affect a range of social, economic, and political outcomes.  This work uses quantitative analyzes to understand how workers' organizations have mattered— and what their decline means.  Her current project is funded by the National Science Foundation and uses data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to analyze how unions impact wage equity.  Kerrissey is also co-editor of the book Labor in the Time of Trump with Cornell Univeristy Press.

She has published her work in journals such as American Sociological Review, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Social Forces. You can see some of her work on unions and political participationworker safety,  income inequality, and race and gender wage equity in the links provided. Her work also has appeared in the Washington Post, including articles on union elections and strikes

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.

Current Research Projects

  • -- Several projects analyzing administrative data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to better understand work dynamics in the public sector, including race and gender wage gaps and the role of unions. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation and co-authored with Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Anthony Rainey, and Steve Boutcher.
  • -- Book: Union Booms and Busts: The Ongoing Fight Over the U.S. Labor Movement, co-authored with Judith Stepan-Norris and forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Analyzing union trends from 1900 to 2015, this book analyzes why workers were able to successfully form unions in some industries— and others were not.

Select Publications

  • Hammond, Clare and Jasmine Kerrissey. Forthcoming. "At Work in a Pandemic: Black Workers' Experiences of Safety on the Job" Labor Studies Journal 
  • Kerrissey, Jasmine and Nathan Meyers. 2021. “Race, Gender and Earnings: The Role of Unions in the Public Sector” Industrial and Labor Relations Review
  • Kerrissey, Jasmine, Tiamba Wilkerson, Nathan Meyers. 2020. “The Political and Civic Lives of Public Sector Workers: Unions and Public Service Motivation” Sociological Forum 36(1): 92-110.
  • Kerrissey, Jasmine, Eve Weinbaum, Clare Hammonds, Tom Juravich, and Dan Clawson, eds. 2020. Labor in the Time of Trump. Cornell University Press.
  • Kerrissey, Jasmine, and Evan Schofer. 2018. "Labor Unions and Political Participation in Comparative Perspective." Social Forces 97(1): 427-464.
  • Kerrissey, Jasmine and Jeff Schuhrke.  2016.  “Life Chances:  Worker Fatalities in Less Developed Countries” Social Forces95(1): 191-216.
  • Kerrissey, Jasmine.  2015. “Income Inequality and Collective Labor Rights” American Sociological Review. 80(3): 626-653. - Awarded 2016 Best International Paper for the Labor and Employment Relations Association
  • Kerrissey, Jasmine and Evan Schofer.  2013.  “Unions and Political Participation in the U.S.” Social Forces. 91(3): 895-928.