Case studies highlight local business and initiatives who are making strides in building a better tomorrow
Across the Capital Region, unemployment rates for the Black population exceed the white population by 138-142%; Hispanic unemployment rates exceed the white population by 34-10%11
White residents are nearly 1.5 times more likely to be employed in a high-quality job than Black residents11
Among all US-Based companies with 100 or more employees, Black employees hold just 3% of executive or senior-level roles64
Across the Capital Region, there are significant racial and economic disparities in career opportunities, with Black and Hispanic workers underrepresented in quality jobs.I This limits workers’ ability to provide for their families, stifles their economic mobility, and may lead to talent retention issues, hindering the region’s economic growth and restricting the diversity of talent within regional employers.
Disparities in job quality lead to divergent income levels: the average annual median income gap between white and Black households in the Capital Region is $43,000, and the gap between white and Latinx households is $34,000.3 Differences in income compound economic disparities across the board, as individuals with lower incomes are less able to build wealth for themselves and their loved ones and afford necessities such as housing, healthcare, and transportation.
COVID-19 has exacerbated employment inequities as it has accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid work for high-quality jobs.J The Capital Region has the second-largest pool of remote-capable workers; however, remote and hybrid work opportunities are distributed inequitably across demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds (e.g., ethnicity, gender, educational achievement, income level).60 Due to the strong correlation between remote work and educational achievement, in addition to the overrepresentation of Black and Hispanic workers in frontline jobs, only 41% of Black workers and 28% of Latinx workers are in remote-capable jobs, compared with 56% of white workers.60
Employers can help close regional racial and economic disparities in career opportunities by embracing inclusive hiring practices, promoting equitable retention and advancement, and investing in employee well-being. These commitments benefit workers and their families through increased income and economic stability, catalyze economic growth across the region, and provide tangible benefits to business, such as access to a wider and more diverse talent pool, improved employee retention and workplace culture, and enhanced profitability.
The following section details how employers can support inclusive growth within workforce development and the potential impact of making such investments.
13% of Black and Hispanic residents live in poverty, compared to only 5% of white residents3