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

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
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2009

The economic recession took longer to crash the party in Alabama than in many other states. But once it did arrive in late 2008, it made its presence known swiftly and severely. Alabama once boasted a far lower unemployment rate than the national average. Now it has one of the highest. Despite a decade of solid [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 15, 2009
Author
Chris Sanders
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2008

What if this is as good as it gets? That's a question many Alabama workers may ask themselves in the near future as this year's national economic slump continues. The state's economy has been healthy in a number of areas since the business cycle last peaked in 2001. The unemployment level is below the national and [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 15, 2008
Author
Chris Sanders
Report

Bridging the Gap

From the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast, Alabamians share a strong work ethic and a deep commitment to individual responsibility. They go to work each day, pay their taxes, participate in the lives of their communities, and nurture their children. But for many, the promise that hard work will provide a good living for them [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
January 15, 2008
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

IDAs: Building assets to break the chains of poverty

With just a small investment in a federally sponsored asset-building strategy known as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), Alabama could help hundreds of low-income workers break the chains of poverty by saving for education, housing or entrepreneurship. This fact sheet explains how IDAs work, how they're funded and how Alabama can move forward with this innovative program.
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
December 6, 2007
Author
Chris Sanders
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2007

The rising tide hasn't lifted all boats in Alabama.  The state's economy has grown in a number of ways since the recession of 2001-02. The unemployment level is notably below the national and regional average, with some areas of the state experiencing what economists would call full employment. Almost 100,000 new jobs have been created [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 15, 2007
Author
Chris Sanders
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2006

ACPP has partnered with the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) to assess the economic condition of Alabama's working families in 2006, against the backdrop of national and historical trends.
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
November 15, 2006
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Getting by: The challenge of measuring poverty

Defining poverty is a difficult task. The researcher who developed the poverty threshold called them a measure of "income inadequacy." That is, they reflect a general agreement about how much is too little to live on, rather than how much is enough. This fact sheet describes how the government measures poverty and offers an alternative measure called the Self-Sufficiency Standard [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
January 5, 2004
Author
Jim Carnes
All Issue Resources