Economic Policy

The Joint Center’s economic policy program identifies challenges and opportunities for advancing the economic status of Black communities. See below for research, analysis, and activities related to economic policy.

December Jobs Data Shows Loss for Black Women

In December, the unemployment rate for Black workers decreased slightly to 9.9 percent, down from 10.3 percent in November 2020. This rate is above the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent and still far above the 6.0 percent unemployment rate Black workers saw in February 2020. Overall, Black workers were just slightly less likely to…

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Joint Center President Joins AARP’s Panel on ‘Equity, Inclusion, and a New World of Work’ at The Atlantic Festival

Joint Center President Spencer Overton joined AARP’s panel, Equity, Inclusion, and a New World of Work, at the virtual Atlantic Festival. During the discussion, Spencer spoke about digital technologies that are transforming work, increased utilization of autonomous robots, and the significance of digital skills and remote work especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other panelists included…

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Sustain Black Businesses

Black businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 26% decline in the number of active Black business owners between February and May 2020.1 The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program—which issues forgivable loans to keep businesses open and employees on payrolls—failed to adequately support Black businesses, in part through its design. Policymakers…

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Pandemic Relief Priorities for Black Communities

By LaShonda Brenson Ph.D., Jessica Fulton, and Spencer Overton While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately harm Black communities in the United States, Congress and the Trump Administration have failed to come to an agreement on a fourth legislative package that will bring relief to millions in our nation.1 Granted, the relief package should direct…

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Provide Financial Support for Black Workers

Black workers are over-represented in public transit, childcare and social services, health care, trucking, warehouse, and postal service, and many other frontline occupations deemed “essential.”1 Despite this work, Black communities have experienced high rates of both job and income loss. In June 2020, 15.4% of Black workers were looking for but unable to find work.2…

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