Jun 8, 2021 - Economy

The economic impact of Black women

Reproduced from S&P Global; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from S&P Global; Chart: Axios Visuals

Economic inequality has been exacerbated by the pandemic and left Black women — and potential growth for the broader U.S. economy — even further behind, according to a new report today from S&P Global.

Why it matters: Black women have been hindered by economic disparities in nearly all aspects of American life, particularly when it comes to wage growth and opportunities in school and at work.

What they found: If Black women were able to obtain college degrees at the same rate as white women from 1960 to 2019, the U.S. would have generated an additional $107 billion in economic activity, according to the report.

  • Moreover, if Black women in the professional world were in positions that matched their education and skills, the productivity boost alone would have added another $507 billion.

What they're saying: The inequities faced by a demographic group that makes up over 6% of the U.S. population has impacted the economy's potential growth outlook, S&P Global U.S. chief economist Beth Ann Bovino tells Axios.

  • "If you look at potential growth, where it was back before the financial crisis and Great Recession, we were looking at about 2.75% … and it has slowed now to under 2%," Bovino says, adding that CBO estimates call for a further dip in the next decade.

What to watch: The impact of the corporate world’s increasing focus on anti-racist causes since the murder of George Floyd.

  • Goldman Sachs, for one, launched in March a decade-long plan to inject $10 billion into projects that it says will impact 1 million Black women.
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