Lifting All Boats Requires Targeted Interventions
January 19, 2024
Not all communities have benefited from the strong economy and labor market.
The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.
How Economic Indicators Miss Labor Market Disparities
The US economy has enjoyed a below-4 percent unemployment rate for nearly two years, but some of the country’s most populous states aren’t yet reaping the full benefits. In a new blog post, the Roosevelt Institute’s Ira Regmi closely examines macroeconomic data to reveal fragmentation in the labor market by geography and race.
Fifteen states, including Nevada, California, and New York, had a higher average unemployment rate in 2023 than in 2019. And in 20 states, the gap between the unemployment rates of Black and white workers remained higher in 2023 than in 2019.
Passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Rescue Plan made vital investments in a record-fast labor market recovery and helped strengthen worker power, but didn’t address sector-specific or demographic challenges.
While these policy interventions were “likely to favor marginalized communities disproportionately,” Regmi writes, “this disproportionality underscores not the racial equity advantages of these policies, but rather the extent of marginalization faced by Black and brown communities.”
Targeted interventions are needed to ensure that economic gains aren’t leaving some people behind. Dive deeper into the data in “How Topline Economic Indicators—like Low Unemployment—Miss Struggling Communities.”
What We’re Talking About
Improving the economic wellbeing of millions of children should be every policymaker’s priority. https://t.co/ar5pDYlBoC
— Alí R. Bustamante, Ph.D. (@DrAliBustamante) January 16, 2024
What We’re Reading
Judge Blocks JetBlue from Acquiring Spirit Airlines – New York Times
What If the Clean Energy Transition Costs Much Less Than We’ve Been Told? – Inside Climate News