Having access to more information about employers and specific jobs could empower workers to apply for more open positions — or at least equip them with the information to decide whether to apply at all.

At the same time, giving workers the right to withhold information such as their own salary history could give them leverage when negotiating wages. Dozens of states and cities have enacted salary history bans, leading to higher than average wage increases for women and nonwhite workers.

Of course, unions are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to worker empowerment, but not the only piece. Policymakers should support a worker’s chances to have abundant outside job offers — even when the market turns, as it inevitably will.

Opinion by  and Elisabeth Jacobs for CNN Business Perspectives