Charlotte in Transition: Building Pathways to Economic Security in a Fast-Growing Tech-Driven Regional Economy

Overview

Regional economies play an important role in shaping opportunities and outcomes for low-income residents and people of color. Broad trends in the U.S. economy—such as the decline of traditional manufacturing, the growth of high-tech industries, and the rapid expansion of low-wage service jobs—occur unevenly across the nation’s largest metro areas. To better understand the implications of these trends for advancing regional equity and shared prosperity, this report presents a typology that classifies the 150 largest U.S. regions based on (1) the growth of advanced industries; (2) the decline of manufacturing jobs; and (3) the quality of service-sector jobs that generally do not require a BA degree. Understanding the connections between these factors can help local leaders identify and develop tailored strategies to grow good jobs, create accessible career pathways for people of color, nurture equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems, and improve job quality for all workers. Download the report, methodology, and summary.

To illustrate how these interrelated dynamics manifest at the local level, the report is accompanied by three case studies of diverse metropolitan areas representing different regional types: Charlotte, North Carolina metro; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania metro; and Stockton, California metro.
 

Philadelphia in Transition: Advancing an Equitable Economy in a Regional Shift from Industry to Innovation

Overview

Regional economies play an important role in shaping opportunities and outcomes for low-income residents and people of color. Broad trends in the U.S. economy—such as the decline of traditional manufacturing, the growth of high-tech industries, and the rapid expansion of low-wage service jobs—occur unevenly across the nation’s largest metro areas. To better understand the implications of these trends for advancing regional equity and shared prosperity, this report presents a typology that classifies the 150 largest U.S. regions based on (1) the growth of advanced industries; (2) the decline of manufacturing jobs; and (3) the quality of service-sector jobs that generally do not require a BA degree. Understanding the connections between these factors can help local leaders identify and develop tailored strategies to grow good jobs, create accessible career pathways for people of color, nurture equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems, and improve job quality for all workers. Download the report, methodology, and summary.

To illustrate how these interrelated dynamics manifest at the local level, the report is accompanied by three case studies of diverse metropolitan areas representing different regional types: Charlotte, North Carolina metro; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania metro; and Stockton, California metro.
 

Stockton in Transition: Embedding Equity in an Emerging Megaregional Economy

Overview

Regional economies play an important role in shaping opportunities and outcomes for low-income residents and people of color. Broad trends in the U.S. economy—such as the decline of traditional manufacturing, the growth of high-tech industries, and the rapid expansion of low-wage service jobs—occur unevenly across the nation’s largest metro areas. To better understand the implications of these trends for advancing regional equity and shared prosperity, this report presents a typology that classifies the 150 largest U.S. regions based on (1) the growth of advanced industries; (2) the decline of manufacturing jobs; and (3) the quality of service-sector jobs that generally do not require a BA degree. Understanding the connections between these factors can help local leaders identify and develop tailored strategies to grow good jobs, create accessible career pathways for people of color, nurture equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems, and improve job quality for all workers. Download the report, methodology, and summary.

To illustrate how these interrelated dynamics manifest at the local level, the report is accompanied by three case studies of diverse metropolitan areas representing different regional types: Charlotte, North Carolina metro; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania metro; and Stockton, California metro.
 

Regional Economies in Transition

Overview

Regional Economies in Transition: Analyzing Trends in Advanced Industries, Manufacturing, and the Service Sector to Inform Inclusive Growth Strategies

Healing Together: Shifting Approaches to End Intimate Partner Violence

Overview

When our relationships are safe and healthy, so are our communities. This California-focused policy paper discusses approaches to ending intimate partner violence and includes policy recommendations that focus on healing, gender justice, and racial equity — instead of punishment — to build safe and accountable communities.

Intimate partner violence is a frightening reality for millions of Californians and a public health crisis that especially affects Black, Native American, and bisexual women and transgender people. For decades, women in the anti-violence movement have led the critical work of meeting the immediate safety needs of survivors — saving countless lives. As we build on these efforts to end partner violence, we must do more to address the root causes of violence and the need for healing for all — including those who have caused harm. Read the policy paper and the summary, and join the campaign, funded with the generous support of Blue Shield of California Foundation. 

Boosting Economic Growth in Mississippi through Employment Equity

Overview

While economic insecurity is a widespread challenge for an increasing number of Mississippians, women and people of color are disproportionately represented among the economically insecure. This brief highlights how employment equity is essential to the state's future. If full employment was achieved across all gender and racial groups, Mississippi's economy could be $2.5 billion stronger each year. Investing in women and in critical support systems for Mississippi’s workforce will disrupt Mississippi’s current pattern of economic exclusion and place the state on a course to greater prosperity for all. The report is the third of five briefs about employment equity in southern states based on data analysis and modeling of a “full-employment economy” (defined as when everyone who wants a job can find one), which was conducted by the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at the University of Southern California as well as policy research and focus groups conducted by PolicyLink and the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Download the report, detailed methodology, and fact sheet.

Advancing Employment Equity in Alabama

Overview

850,000 of Alabama's working-age adults are economically insecure and struggling to find good jobs: jobs that pay enough to support a family, offer safe working conditions, and provide meaningful opportunities to move up the economic ladder. Advancing Employment Equity in Alabama describes why employment equity — when everyone who wants a job can find one — is critical to Alabama's economic future and offers a policy roadmap to achieve employment equity. It is based on data analysis and modeling of a "full-employment economy" as well as policy research and focus groups conducted by PolicyLink and the Alabama Asset Building Coalition. With full employment for all, Alabama's economy would be $3.9 billion stronger every year. However, to realize these gains, state leaders must be willing to eliminate barriers to employment through efforts such as expanding public transportation options, banning the box on criminal background checks, and supporting the growth of minority- and women-owned business enterprises. This is the second of five briefs about employment equity in southern states co-produced by PolicyLink, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at the University of Southern California, and local partners with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Download the report, detailed methodology, and fact sheet "Employment Equity: The Path to a More Competitive Alabama."

100 Million and Counting: A Portrait of Economic Insecurity in the United States

Overview

This analysis sheds new light on the 106 million Americans — nearly a third of the nation — who are living below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, for whom even a short-term illness, loss of income, or emergency expense can be insurmountable. Produced with the support of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, in partnership with Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California, the report shows that even with low unemployment, economic insecurity is growing rapidly.  Since 2000, the population living at or below 200 percent of poverty has grown by 25 million — more than twice as fast as the nation’s population growth overall. In addition to nuanced data on who is economically insecure in America, the report offers bold policies that organizers, policymakers, business leaders, and others can pursue to foster a more inclusive and equitable economy. Download the report and fact sheet.

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Solving the Housing Crisis Is Key to Inclusive Prosperity in the Bay Area

Overview

This report presents new data illustrating how the combination of rising rents and stagnant incomes is straining household budgets and stifling opportunity for all but the very wealthy in the nine-county Bay Area, raising serious questions about the sustainability of the region’s economy. The report was developed as part of the Bay Area Equity Atlas partnership between PolicyLink, the San Francisco Foundation, and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California (PERE). Key findings include:

  • Between 2000 and 2016, rents increased 24 percent while renter incomes rose just 9 percent.
  • There are 480,000 economically insecure renter households in the region that are paying $9,000 too much for housing per year, on average.
  • A family of two full-time workers each making $15/hour can only afford market rent in 5 percent of Bay Area neighborhoods.
  • 92 percent of these neighborhoods affordable to working-class families are rated "very low opportunity" on a comprehensive index of neighborhood opportunity. 

How are people using this data? The analyses in this report served as the basis for factsheets and maps developed with Working Partnerships, Urban Habitat, and EBASE to support their tenant protection policy campaigns. The Bay Area Economic Council used this data in their report analyzing policy solutions to the housing crisis in Alameda County. KQED Forum host Michael Krasny used it to open up his conversation with housing activist Randy Shaw about his book Generation Priced Out. The Partnership for the Bay's Future used our data to frame the need for investment in housing solutions.

Media mentions: Housing Is Key to Bay Area's Economic Future, Study Finds (Philanthropy News Digest), New Report Examines the Bay Area's Broken Housing Market (Planetizen), World Journal

Powering Health Equity Action with Online Data Tools: 10 Design Principles

Overview

Online data tools hold tremendous power to amplify community efforts to advance health equity through policy and systems change. In the spirit of nurturing the growing equity data field and contributing to its evolution, this report, developed in partnership with Ecotrust, offers up a set of 10 design principles for online data tools intended to spur health equity action. The principles include addressing the root causes of health inequities, disaggregating data, and honoring indigenous data sovereignty. For the full list and examples of each principle, download the report here.

Bridging the Racial Generation Gap Is Key to America's Economic Future

Overview

In 2015, 78 percent of America’s seniors were white while 49 percent of the nation’s youth were people of color—a phenomenon that we call the racial generation gap. If predominantly white seniors choose not to invest in a more racially diverse young population, this could hamstring the development of the next generation and the nation's economic future. This brief examines the growth of the racial generation gap and its effect on per-child k-12 education spending. We find that every percentage-point increase in the racial generation gap is associated with a decrease in state and local per-child education spending of around 1.5 percent. Given this relationship, it is critical to ensure equitable school funding, invest in youth beyond school, and build multi-generational communities and coalitions for change. Download the brief or data.

Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros

Overview

The latest brief from the National Equity Atlas team, Race, Place, and Jobs: Reducing Employment Inequality in America’s Metros, analyzes the relationship between racial and spatial inequality in employment across America’s largest 150 metropolitan regions. We find that in several regions with large racial gaps in employment such as Youngstown and Milwaukee, unemployed workers of color tend to live in a small number of neighborhoods. In these places, neighborhood-targeted workforce development and job access strategies have the potential to increase racial equity and reduce disparities at the regional level, building stronger and more inclusive regional economies. 

Employment Equity: Putting Georgia on the Path to Inclusive Prosperity

Overview

This brief describes why employment equity is critical to Georgia’s economic future and lays out a policy roadmap to achieve employment equity. It is based on data analysis and modeling of a “full-employment economy” (defined as when everyone who wants a job can find one), which was conducted by the Program for Environmental and RegionalEquity (PERE) at the University of Southern California as well as policy research and focus groups conducted by PolicyLink and the Partnership for Southern Equity.  See the detailed methodology and fact sheet "Employment Equity: The Path to a More Competitive Georgia."

An Equity Profile of Albuquerque

Overview

Albuquerque is a growing, majority people-of-color city that is becoming even more diverse as communities of color drive the city’s growth. Embracing this rising diversity as an asset and addressing persistent racial and economic inequities is critical to the city’s prosperity. We estimate that the Albuquerque metro economy would have been $11 billion larger in 2015 absent its racial inequities in income. This profile was produced by the National Equity Atlas partnership with the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The profile was released in partnership with the City of Albuquerque and New Mexico Voices for Children, and will serve as a guide for the city’s new Office of Equity and Inclusion to set its racial and economic equity agenda. Read the profile, one-page summary, and press release.

An Equity Profile of Long Island

Overview

Long Island – defined as Nassau and Suffolk counties – is rapidly diversifying. Today, one in three Long Island residents is a person of color – up from roughly one in 10 residents in 1980. Black Long Islanders, who were largely excluded from the massive federally subsidized suburban development that characterizes Long Island, continue to face barriers to full social, economic, and political inclusion. This profile shows how persistent segregation and racial disparities in wealth, housing, educational attainment and many other areas is costing Long Island billions of dollars in potential economic growth each year. The accompanying policy brief provides a series of recommendations designed to close the racial wealth divide which would result in a major boost to Long Island’s economy. It was produced by PolicyLink and PERE, with lead support from Citi Community Development and funding from Long Island Community Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read the policy brief and profile, and see the press release.

An Equity Profile of Grand Rapids

Overview

Grand Rapids is an increasingly diverse city. While it has experienced some overall population loss over the last decade, communities of color have significantly grown – and their ability to participate and thrive is central to the city’s success. This profile shows how equitable growth is the path to sustained economic prosperity in the region. It was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to assist local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Jackson

Overview

Since 1990, Jackson, Mississippi has experienced notable demographic growth and transformation — driven mostly by an increase in the Black and Latino populations. Today, these demographic shifts persist. By growing good jobs, connecting younger generations with older ones, integrating immigrants into the economy, Jackson can put all residents on the path towards reaching their full potential, and secure a bright future for the city and region. This equity analysis of Jackson was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Read the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Detroit City

Overview

After decades of job and population loss, the City of Detroit has shown recent signs of growth. However, this Detroit Renaissance is not enjoyed equally by all residents; deep racial disparities, declining wages, and a hollowing out of middle-wage, high-opportunity jobs threaten the city’s rebound and economic viability. Equitable development strategies will be essential if growth is to have an appreciable impact on poverty, inequality, and racial disparities. This equity profile was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city. Read the the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Battle Creek

Overview

Battle Creek, Michigan is becoming a majority people-of-color city, and communities of color will continue to drive growth and change into the foreseeable future. Embedding an equity approach throughout city government and advancing policy strategies to grow good jobs, build healthy communities of opportunity, prevent displacement, and ensure just policing and court systems, is fundamental to a brighter future for all of Battle Creek’s residents.  This equity profile was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support local community groups, elected officials, planners, business leaders, funders, and others working to build a stronger and more equitable city and region. Read the full profile.

An Equity Profile of Farmington

Overview

Farmington, New Mexico is already 50 percent people of color; growth and transformation in the city has been driven mostly by an increase in the Latino and Native American populations. Farmington’s diversity is a major asset in the regional economy, but inequities and disparities are holding the city back. Equitable growth is the path to sustained economic prosperity in the city and region. Knowing how a community stands in terms of equity is a critical first step in planning for greater equity. This equity analysis was developed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Read the full profile.

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