By Matthew Walsh, Abbie Langston, Edward Muña
The Columbus regional economy is strong and growing quickly, but racial inequities in the workforce threaten the region’s future prosperity. This report, produced in partnership with Emsi Burning Glass, One Columbus, and the Workforce Innovation Center, provides a comprehensive analysis of long-standing racial gaps in labor market outcomes, the economic impacts of Covid-19, and the racial equity implications of automation. Our in-depth analysis of disaggregated equity indicators and labor market dynamics found that only 42 percent of the region’s workers are in future-ready jobs, that Black workers with an associate’s degree earn on average the same wages as white workers with just a high school diploma, and that eliminating racial inequities in income could boost the Columbus regional economy by about $10 billion a year. The report concludes with actionable solutions to advance workforce equity across the region, informed by the data and shaped by local leaders.
Read our other publications by research area
Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice
Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.
Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity
In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.
Social Movements & Governing Power
ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.
In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).
The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.