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


What We’re Reading

Supreme Court Signals Openness to Curtailing Federal Regulatory Power in Potentially Major Shift – CBS News

Oxfam Says Billionaires Are Having a Grand Decade – NPR

Judge Blocks JetBlue from Acquiring Spirit AirlinesNew York Times

What If the Clean Energy Transition Costs Much Less Than We’ve Been Told? – Inside Climate News