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Black livelihoods and economic recovery in the US

When businesses focus on dismantling barriers to racial equity, the result could be a more dynamic and resilient economy for all Americans.

By affecting Black Americans disproportionately, the COVID-19 crisis exacerbated the inequalities that exist in every dimension of Black economic life. During a McKinsey Live webinar, partners Shelley Stewart III and Kweilin Ellingrud discussed McKinsey’s latest research on the role of Black Americans in the US economy—as workers, entrepreneurs, consumers, savers and investors, and residents. The presenters identified the industries, occupations, and places where the greatest racial disparities lie as well as the complex set of challenges Black Americans face, and actions organizations could take to build a more inclusive environment.

Dismantling long-standing barriers to parity for Black Americans in the wake of COVID-19 goes beyond fairness; it would unleash a tremendous wave of growth and productivity, to the benefit of all Americans. Companies need to take the lead in expanding opportunities for Black Americans, which is central to the goal of making the entire US economy more dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable.

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For more on this topic, please watch the webinar recording and read the reports “The economic state of Black America: What is and what could be,” “Race in the workplace: The Black experience in the US private sector,” and “Women in the Workplace 2020” and the article “Unequal America: Ten insights on the state of economic opportunity.”

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