The State of Economic Equity
The State of Economic Equity describes the nation’s current economic outlook using an equity lens. The Institute for Economic Equity produces this work to examine challenges and outcomes for vulnerableVulnerable groups are those that have economic outcomes below the overall average or their peers. For example, single mothers face structural barriers that restrict their employment. Black or Hispanic/Latino families and less-educated families have lower levels of wealth than their peers. Fewer resources, labor market challenges and greater sensitivity to macroeconomic conditions make it more difficult for these groups to be economically resilient and upwardly mobile. groups and communities. We explore major economic trends that are expected to impact families over the near term and discuss ways to bolster economic resiliency. Our hope is that individuals, leaders and organizations can access this information and data to help their communities thrive.
Learn how the broader economy could benefit from equitable purchasing power.
If Black household income was the same as white household income, it would raise Black purchasing power from $976 billion to a potential $1.6 trillion. How would the broader economy benefit from this additional purchasing power? Because households typically spend the largest portion of their incomes on housing expenses. A big part of these gains will likely go to businesses that construct homes and provide housing, goods and services. The food, transportation and health care sectors could also see large increases in their revenue.
Economic inequities produce gaps that slow the economy. But community investments in areas like childcare, transportation and affordable housing could help fill those gaps and strengthen communities. All of this can lead to greater stability, mobility and innovation while providing businesses and the government with additional sources of revenue.
Visit stlouisfed.org to read the State of Economic Equity blog and learn about the importance of building a more equitable economy.
2023 State of Economic Equity
The 2023 series:
- focuses on new and continuing economic pressures, including inflation and weaker labor market outcomes for vulnerable groups
- proposes four cases for pursuing economic equity and takes a deeper look at wealth equity and how it could support U.S. economic growth
- examines the role community organizations play in fostering economic security
Part 1: The New Challenges to Economic Equity in 2023
For many workers, the benefits of the strong U.S. labor market in 2022 weren’t felt equally. Recent headwinds facing vulnerable workers—from inflation to employment-population ratios that have trended downward for some groups—may create challenges in 2023.
Part 2: How Equitable Wealth Outcomes Could Create a Resilient and Larger Economy
Wealth is a key factor in families’ financial stability. Expanding the opportunity for households to build wealth has the potential to spur personal consumption and innovation, both of which could help fuel economic growth in the U.S.
Part 3: Understanding the Cases for Economic Equity
Four cases that examine the importance of pursuing economic equity—a historical case, a resources-based case, a deferred maintenance case and a business case—suggest that greater equity could not only benefit vulnerable groups but also strengthen the broader economy.
Part 4: The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Fostering Economic Equity
Organizations working in low- to moderate-income communities represent an essential part of the infrastructure meant to promote economic mobility. In 2022, these organizations and communities continued to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2022 State of Economic Equity
The 2022 series focused on the continued recovery from COVID-19-related economic pressures, especially for low- and moderate-income communities. Specifically, it outlined how child care and housing affordability were key to an equitable recovery. It also discussed household debt and the critical transition period for families as relief policies were scheduled to end. Finally, it proposed five ideas that could help families become more resilient among growing wealth inequality.
- Vulnerable groups are those that have economic outcomes below the overall average or their peers. For example, single mothers face structural barriers that restrict their employment. Black or Hispanic/Latino families and less-educated families have lower levels of wealth than their peers. Fewer resources, labor market challenges and greater sensitivity to macroeconomic conditions make it more difficult for these groups to be economically resilient and upwardly mobile.