Articles about the Economy

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A Groundswell for Charlotte: New Gambrell Faculty Fellows address Economic Mobility
   August 31, 2020
Lori Thomas

Groundswells are a series of waves formed by storm systems off the coast, so-named because the energy from their waves reaches the floor of the ocean at a thousand foot depths. By the time the waves of a groundswell reach shore, the interplay between the ocean surface and floor has built energy and momentum. Unlike wind swells that result in shallow, choppy waves and tsunamis that result in a...

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Savings, investment and racial wealth gap over generations
Wealth serves as a buffer through economic downturns, job loss, and other unexpected emergencies such the COVID-19 pandemic. In Charlotte, households of color are more than twice as likely to lack sufficient savings or assets that can be used to pay for basic needs for three months without income when compared to White households. Read more


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Three lessons our city should learn from COVID-19
   June 2, 2020
Ely Portillo
The novel coronavirus is extracting a terrible toll from our society, replete with mind-boggling statistics: A death toll of more than 100,000, 40 million people unemployed, a 95% plunge in airline passengers and so many more. The losses are immense. Grief is immeasurable. It’s still unclear how far-reaching and deep the economic pain we’re facing will run.  Amidst that, however, the... Read more


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The racial wealth gap: Business ownership & entrepreneurship
   June 1, 2020

In Mecklenburg County, business ownership rates are proportionate to the racial and ethnic makeup of the county. But disparities persist: Although ownership is demographically proportionate, the majority of the economic value of business ownership is held in a small number of White-owned businesses.  Read more


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How jobs contribute to the racial wealth gap
   May 26, 2020

Income is a major component of wealth, but the relationship between income and wealth is complex. Wealth and income are both used to measure a family’s economic situation, but they tell us different things about the health and strength of economic well-being.  Read more


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Home ownership and the legacy of redlining
   May 18, 2020

Home ownership is one of the key strategies to close the racial wealth gap. A home is where households see gains in equity (market value of home minus any liens attached to property)  and is typically the largest asset Americans hold, regardless of race or ethnicity.  But Black and Latinx households have considerably less equity in their homes than White and Asian households. As... Read more


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Gambrell Faculty Fellows program returns to fund studies of the Charlotte region
   May 11, 2020
Ely Portillo
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, with support from the Gambrell Foundation, is preparing to launch the second cohort of faculty fellows to study pressing issues in the Charlotte region.  Read more


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COVID-19 exposes the impact of the racial wealth gap
   May 6, 2020
Lori Thomas
James E. Ford
In the United States, White households have 10 times the wealth of Black households and 7 times the wealth of Latinx households.This has not occurred by mere happenstance. Wealth is built through a combination of pathways, each with its own history of policy and practice.  The consequences enhance or hinder asset building across racial and ethnic groups. The systemic patterns of racial... Read more


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The impact of the racial wealth gap in Charlotte-Mecklenburg
   May 4, 2020
Lori Thomas
James E. Ford

This is the first in a series, based on a report by the Urban Institute. Read Part 2 here. The report was compiled with support from Bank of America, ​which partners with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Institute for Social Capital on...

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One month into the coronavirus crisis, food and housing insecurity rise
   April 15, 2020
Bridget Anderson
Since the coronavirus lockdowns began, Mecklenburg’s resource helpline has seen housing assistance requests jump 219% and food assistance jump 747%. These numbers are an indication of the dramatic impacts we’re seeing unfold on Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s economy.  Read more