Toward a More Inclusive Economy

Abstract: It is clear that the adverse effects of the pandemic have not been evenly distributed. They have been borne by the most vulnerable in our economy: lower-income and minority workers and communities; those who do not have the opportunity to work from home; those who do not live in areas with reliable telecommunications and internet services or access to adequate healthcare; and the smaller of small businesses. Indeed, the results from a recent Fed survey show that between March and July, a larger percentage of low-income workers, less educated workers, and Black and Hispanic workers were laid off compared to higher-income, more educated, and white workers. Rehiring by employers has been slower for lower-income workers than for higher-income workers. In addition, from February to April, the number of active small business owners dropped by 3.3 million, a record 22 percent decline.3 Compared to small firms overall, Black-owned businesses have been twice as likely to close and Hispanic-owned businesses have been one-and-a-half times as likely to close. It is distressing to see the disparate impact of the pandemic, but the differences in economic outcomes did not start with COVID-19. There were already long-standing economic disparities in our economy.

Keywords: diversity; economic inequality;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Part of Series: Speech

Publication Date: 2020-09-28