Expanding Baltimore’s Black Middle Class: Workforce Strategies for Advancing Prosperity
In Baltimore City, half of all African-American households earn less than $35,000 per year, and the prevalence of poverty among black city residents is almost double that for whites. In a city where nearly two-thirds of residents are African-American, this has a major impact on the health of the broader community.
This report describes the challenges and opportunities facing Baltimore’s African-American workforce, and provides concrete recommendations for advocates and policymakers.
A comprehensive, long-term strategy for expanding Baltimore’s black middle class must include three elements: expanding the number of good jobs within the city, building pathways to help low-skill workers access these jobs, and reducing employment discrimination.
The numbers show that African-Americans in Baltimore are struggling both in real terms and in relation to their white neighbors. Since nearly two-thirds of city residents are African-American, a thriving Baltimore hinges on the health of the African-American population.
By expanding economic opportunity for all, we can take a major step towards building a more dynamic city.
This issue brief has laid out three key avenues for action, and strategies for improving workforce outcomes within each:
- Expand the number of good jobs open to city residents.
- Increase the skills and education of local workers.