Economic Opportunity

Public policy should make it easier, not harder, for folks to get ahead. But Alabama’s long-standing failure to invest adequately in education, job training and other services has limited wage growth for everyday workers and has fueled a growing income gap between our richest and poorest residents. And our state’s tragic, painful history on race relations means those structural barriers often place an even greater burden on black and Hispanic residents. Arise researches the hurdles that stand in the way of shared prosperity and advocates for proven policy solutions to expand economic opportunity for everyone.

Report

Enhanced child care funding makes life better for Alabama’s children and families

Quality, affordable child care is essential for families seeking to escape poverty and participate in employment, education and training activities. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a federally funded program that subsidizes care for low and moderate-income parents of young children, provides critical funding for affordable child care. In Alabama, CCDBG funds are [...]
Issues
Budgets, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity
Date
July 2, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

A higher minimum wage would help Alabama families make ends meet and strengthen our state’s economy

Too many hard-working Alabamians aren’t paid enough to get ahead. Alabama ranks in the bottom third of states for average hourly wages. Around 77,000 Alabamians earn wages at or below the $7.25 per hour minimum established by the federal government in 2009, and another 394,000 earn less than $10 an hour. In the absence of a [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
February 8, 2017
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2014: Health coverage in Alabama: Where we’ve succeeded and where there’s work to do

Alabama has enjoyed great success in recent decades in ensuring that children and seniors have the health protection they need, according to a new Arise Citizens’ Policy Project report issued Tuesday as part of The State of Working Alabama 2014. But the state lags behind the nation when it comes to insuring young adults, nearly 30 percent [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 25, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2014: The growing divide: Alabama’s income gap is approaching Gilded Age levels

When the income gap between the rich and everyone else gets too large, the resulting inequality can threaten America’s foundations of fairness, equality and opportunity. Income inequality is deep in Alabama, and it has been getting even deeper in recent decades. Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent of Alabamians saw their incomes grow by [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
October 17, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2014: On Labor Day, Alabama workers face high unemployment

Many Alabama workers may find little reason to celebrate as we approach this Labor Day. The Great Recession is officially over, but the average Alabama worker has not yet recovered from it, as employment and jobs continue to lag behind and wages remain stagnant. Policy analyst Carol Gundlach's new report, part of ACPP's State of Working Alabama [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
August 29, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2011

Well after the nation's official recovery from the Great Recession began, Alabama continued to feel the downturn's lingering effects in 2010: lower median household incomes, more poverty and more residents without health insurance. Unemployment has fallen from its 2009 peak, but the state's jobless rate remains above the national average. Higher poverty, fueled by lower incomes [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 1, 2011
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Hands on: Alabama’s adult workforce development

As Alabama recovers from a recession that undercut a wave of record economic growth and employment, workforce development policymakers face a two-fold challenge: getting thousands of Alabamians back to work and gearing up the broader workforce for systemic changes in the economy. This fact sheet offers an overview of skills training programs and related components of Alabama's [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
June 24, 2011
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Same work, less pay: The wage gap in Alabama

Imagine the uproar if football officials suddenly were to declare touchdowns worth six points for one team but only five points for the other. Many workers both in Alabama and nationwide encounter just that sort of shortfall with every paycheck they receive. Despite decades of steady improvement, sizable earnings gaps remain between women and men and [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
January 27, 2011
Author
Chris Sanders
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2010

Like this summer's BP oil disaster, the Great Recession started for many Alabamians as something far away and impersonal. Then the disaster hit Alabama, and it hit hard. The resulting devastation was far-reaching, with scars that could last for decades even as things begin to return to normal.
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 18, 2010
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Stuck: Low-wage jobs are holding Alabama back

No matter what lies ahead for Alabama's economy, a high school diploma is no longer a ticket for employment. We emphasize this point with students, but we leave underprepared adults in the lurch. And it will require more than just each year's crop of high school graduates to meet the new economy's demands. Effective workforce development [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
September 30, 2010
Author
Stephen Stetson
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