Case for Equity
The nation is undergoing an economic transformation that is changing the nature of work, eliminating occupations, and disrupting entire communities. This transition has been underway for decades beginning with the Rust Belt and major city deindustrialization, followed by an off-shoring wave that left many communities devastated. The recent acceleration in automation is compounding this reality and the effects of these shifts have been felt acutely by rural Americans of every racial category, but it has been felt disproportionately by people of color in every geographic space. Historically, people of color experience the impacts of labor market shifts more acutely. The Black unemployment rate consistently stands at 2 times the white unemployment rate in good and bad economic times, and Latino employment typically nose dives faster than any other community during recessions. The US has a long way to go to fulfill the American promise of the availability of opportunities to build a stable life for one’s family through productive and rewarding work.