Articles about the Economy

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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


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Inequalities in Charlotte: Coronavirus shines a spotlight
   April 9, 2020
Ely Portillo
As unemployment rises and schools remain closed, the coronavirus crisis is highlighting some of the many inequalities in the Charlotte region.  Those problems go beyond the ones we’re familiar with, such as income inequality and patterns of segregation. They point to deeply embedded inequalities in how we’ve built our city and our region, as well as access to key infrastructure.  Read more


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Five things coronavirus could change in Charlotte
   March 30, 2020
Ely Portillo
Closed bars, restaurants and breweries. Hundreds of thousands of employees working from home while trying to home-school children. Near-empty road and no toilet paper on the shelves.  The immediate impacts from the coronavirus crisis are highly visible. But the virus could have more long-lasting and farther-reaching impacts beyond the immediate unemployment and economic disruption we’re... Read more


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As Mecklenburg shelters in place, crowded housing conditions vary widely
   March 24, 2020
Ely Portillo, Katie Zager
Mecklenburg County residents are directed to stay at home through a new proclamation Tuesday, in order to limit their social contacts and slow the spread of coronavirus. But some residents could find that harder to do: The rate of crowded housing varies widely across the city of Charlotte and the rest of the county. Read more


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Our homeless neighbors are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus
   March 23, 2020
Lori Thomas
If there has ever been an object lesson on why housing matters and why we must prioritize providing it for people who don’t have a place to live, this latest crisis should teach us. Charlotte’s homeless population is at particular risk as we collectively adjust to COVID-19.  Work to end homelessness takes on new urgency in a pandemic, for reasons of both personal and community safety. The... Read more


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Airlines, facing a crisis, make up a big part of the Charlotte region’s economic heft
   March 20, 2020
Ely Portillo, Katie Zager
Charlotte is home to the world’s sixth-busiest airport by takeoffs and landings, and Charlotte Douglas International is often cited as the region’s most important economic asset. That’s why the airline industry’s sudden existential crisis could be especially consequential for the region. Because of the coronavirus crisis, American Airlines and other carriers are struggling with the twin blow... Read more


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Retail workers, many hit by store closures, make up a big part of our workforce
   March 19, 2020

Restaurant workers are grappling with the industry’s near shutdown in North Carolina due to coronavirus. Another category of workers being hit hard is those employed by the retail sector.

The closures have come swiftly over the past week, engulfing an ever-widening swath of stores locally: SouthPark mall, Concord Mills and Charlotte Premium Outlets have all temporarily closed, along...

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Coronavirus impacts food service workers, who play a major role in our regional economy
   March 18, 2020

With Gov. Roy Cooper’s declaration this week that restaurants must close their dining rooms and move to carry-out only, restaurant workers across the region are scrambling to figure out how they’ll get by during the coronavirus crisis.  Food services and drinking establishments (basically, restaurants and bars) account for almost 9 percent of the region’s jobs: 115,000 out of 1.35... Read more