Advancing Workforce Equity in Seattle: A Blueprint for Action

In the Seattle metropolitan area, as in the rest of the nation, deep racial inequities are built into the regional economy. The impact of racial inequity is widespread. Black and Latinx workers earn substantially less than their White counterparts at every education level. Nearly 90% of White workers are paid at least $15 an hour, compared to just 59% of Latinx immigrants, 64% of Black immigrants, and 68% of Native Americans.

In 2018 alone, racial gaps in wages and employment for working-age people cost Seattle over $33 billion in lost GDP. Disparities in the system are felt by the whole region, and workers of color bear the burden.

This report, produced in partnership with PolicyLink, Burning Glass Technologies, and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, offers 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.

The new report offers a robust agenda, with recommendations, for building a thriving and inclusive regional workforce.

  • Partner with employers to implement equitable recovery commitments.
  • Develop and track equity metrics as the economy recovers.
  • Build sustainable community influence and power in the workforce development system.
  • Advance sector-based strategies that prioritize growth sectors like construction, IT, and healthcare.

You can find additional materials for this report at our partner PolicyLink’s website.

The Advancing Workforce Equity series represents the insights of disaggregated data and the transformative power of local leadership, design, and influence in five US regions that are poised to put this research into action: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Seattle. See the other reports here.