ON TO 2050 calls for Inclusive Growth -- growing the economy through opportunity for all. Research shows that inclusive regions have longer, stronger periods of economic prosperity. That’s in large part because they’re tapping the full economic potential of all of their residents.
This week, data from the American Community Survey 5-year data release reflected ON TO 2050’s findings that our region is not providing economic opportunities for all its residents, with the starkest differences for black residents. A new CMAP Policy Update provides analysis of this data showing that black residents are underrepresented in the region’s labor force and posted the smallest declines in unemployment. Data also shows that a majority of black residents leaving the region -- some 60 percent -- do not have a job, while the opposite is true for other races: Most whites, Hispanics, and Asians who leave the region are employed. This last point suggests that finding a job may be a bigger driver for black residents who are leaving the region than it is for other residents. Read more about the data in Crain's Chicago Business, WTTW, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
ON TO 2050 recommends addressing barriers that prevent residents from fully participating in the regional economy. In particular, the plan recommends prioritizing pathways for upward economic mobility and conducting regional planning that leverages the region’s human capital strengths, including its diverse talent pool, to improve employment opportunities. It also highlights the need to leverage the transportation network to promote inclusive growth and to invest in disinvested communities, both of which can help connect residents to jobs.