The Economy Has Improved but Many Have Been Left Behind

We all hear stories about growing economic inequality, but pictures do indeed speak a thousand words.

Light colors represent counties in the U.S. that are growing. Darker colors illustrate those falling behind. Red highlights parts of the country that new research says are economically “distressed.”

The chart above was published today at Axios and comes from a study just released by the Economic Innovation Group.

Key findings include the following:

  • New jobs are clustered in the economy’s best-off places, leaving one of every four new jobs for the bottom 60% of zip codes.
  • 57% of the national rise in business establishments and 52% of employment growth from 2011-2015 were in prosperous areas.
  • Most of today’s distressed communities have seen zero net gains in employment and business establishment since 2000. In fact, more than half have seen net losses on both fronts.
  • Half of adults living in distressed zip codes are attempting to find gainful employment in the modern economy armed with only a high school education at best.
  • The healthier the economy, the healthier the person — people in distressed communities die five years earlier.

To read the full article, click here.

No easy solutions exist, but clearly inequality creates many problems that need to be addressed.

As Axios concluded, “This isn’t a Republican or Democratic problem.”


During the week, Preston McSwain is a Managing Partner and Founder of Fiduciary Wealth Partners, an SEC registered investment advisor. Every day he is a proud Dad and committed to giving back.

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