Expert video featuring Christian E. Weller
WASHINGTON —The Center for American Progress released a report today entitled “The State of Communities of Color in the U.S. Economy” outlining how U.S. households in general, but communities of color in particular, were severely hurt by the recession. According to the authors, communities of color experienced larger losses than whites and will have to climb out of a deeper hole to regain the level of economic security they had before the crisis as the economic recovery deepens and the labor market recovers.
The authors analyzed data from the last business cycle and found that:
The main lessons from the data are threefold. First, all families struggled with the prolonged economic and labor market slumps, regardless of race or ethnicity. Second, economic differences by race and ethnicity remained intact during the crisis, meaning that communities of color went into a deeper economic hole than whites. Third, the most recent economic downturn quickly translated into a lot of economic pain for communities of color since they had seen few gains, either with respect to jobs, earnings, or both, during the preceding business cycle. The data suggest that communities of color face continued structural obstacles to gain the same economic opportunities as white families, even during good economic times.
This implies three policy lessons. First, policymakers need to pay continued attention to the weak labor market to ensure there is a rising tide that can lift all boats. Second, policies intended to create more jobs need to include provisions that particularly target communities of color. Third, policymakers need to put in place policies that go beyond the immediate need for job creation for everybody to help erase differences in economic security and opportunity by race and ethnicity.
This policy brief on the state of communities of color as we enter 2011 includes a specific list of policy recommendations from our colleagues at the Progress 2050 project to address these policy lessons.
Read the full report HERE
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."