Identifying Opportunities to Advance Economic Mobility in US Cities

June 20, 2017

Today, Mastercard and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth announced the findings of a multi-city inclusive growth initiative and three new grants supporting research and programs to help ensure more Americans can benefit from a growing economy.  The report highlights key insights from our visits to seven US cities – Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Oakland, Columbus, St. Louis and Washington, DC – and discussions with public and private sector leaders from more than 100 organizations. Below you will find the executive summary, video and links to the full report and press release.

Executive Summary

Economic opportunity and work are in the midst of a seismic shift in America, challenging policymakers, advocacy organizations, and the public and private sectors to create better pathways for inclusive growth. Employment and its associated benefits are evolving rapidly, new work skills are in demand, living costs are on the rise in many cities and incomes are more volatile. Poverty is expanding to the suburbs, the middle class is shrinking and nearly one-third of the US population – more than 100 million people – lives at or below 200% of the poverty line.

Too many Americans remain disconnected from the vital networks and resources they need to thrive in today’s economy: information, technology, financial services, education, transportation and affordable housing, among others.

Yet with these challenges also comes a transformative opportunity for business, government and civil society to work together to deliver solutions that advance inclusive growth – a process that ensures the benefits of an expanding economy extend to all segments of society. With increasingly diverse populations, cities and their surrounding metro areas are ground zero for innovation and economic growth, presenting new avenues for inclusion and economic mobility.

Last fall, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth launched “On the Front Lines of Inclusive Growth,” a series of community roundtable discussions and panels in seven cities to identify how we can better use our assets to support economic mobility. We partnered with the Beeck Center for Social Impact at Georgetown University, DataKind and local organizations to host public events during the visits.

During in-depth conversations in Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, New York, Oakland, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. from October 2016 to April 2017, the civic leaders we spoke with emphasized the critical role of the private sector in helping to build a more inclusive economy. The private sector can contribute its assets, expertise and ability to respond quickly to arising issues.

This report is intended to share what we learned and highlight five major areas of opportunity for action:

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth is committed to using our expertise, data, technology and philanthropic investments to help expand opportunity and drive equitable growth.

Download the full here report and learn more about how we’re partnering with Accion, PolicyLink and Urban Institute to support new research and programs to advance economic mobility in US cities.

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