Workforce: Advancing racial equity in the workforce is a moral and economic imperative.

Insights & Analyses

  • People of color account for 39 percent of the prime working-age population (25-64) and 47 percent of the emerging workforce (18-24). Black and Latinx residents comprise over one-third of emerging workers ages 18 through 24.
  • Women comprise an equal or larger share of people of prime working age as men across all racial/ethnic groups, except for the Latinx population.

  • Latinx immigrants account for about one in 10 of the prime working-age population while Asian American immigrants account for one in 20.

  • Among the Latinx population ages 25 through 64, there are about 14 million residents of Mexican ancestry, about half of whom are immigrants. Among the Asian American population of prime working age, there are two million residents of Indian ancestry (90 percent immigrants) and two million of Chinese ancestry (80 percent immigrants).

Drivers of Inequity

The US population is increasingly made up of people of color and immigrants, particularly among younger generations. At the same time, the white population is rapidly aging, as baby boomers retire and birth rates continue to decline. These twin forces are widening the demographic gap between the nation’s youngest and oldest residents. As people of color become the majority of the US workforce, racial inequities in the labor market represent a rising liability for the economy as a whole. Today, roughly half of all young people under the age of 25 are people of color, many of whom grow up in historically underresourced neighborhoods without the robust educational systems, digital infrastructure, public transit, and professional networks that help young people access good-paying jobs in stable workplaces and industries.


Grow an equitable economy: Policies to reach full employment for all

Strategy in Action

New York City-based program helps local youth pursue careers in geriatric health care. The SkillSpring program (formerly known as the Geriatrics Career Development Program) annually supports 225 New York City youth from under-resourced schools in the Bronx and Manhattan in pursuing careers in health care. Facilitated by The New Jewish Home, the program trains high school students to become health-care professionals with a focus on serving older adults. As part of the program, youth work directly with older adults in long-term care through paid internships, mentorship, and clinical training. Program participants can earn up to five allied health-care certifications, so they can immediately find work and earn income while in college. Ninety-nine percent of the students in the program graduate high school, and five in six participants have gone on to earn a postsecondary degree. Learn more.

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