Racial equity would bring in billions for state

Jun 6, 2018

According to a new report, eliminating racial disparities in Michigan would generate billions of dollars over the next 30 years.

“Often people talk about issues around racial equity from the perspective of social justice, but there are actually important business and economic impacts related to racial inequities and it is something that’s very important that we need to be looking at in the country and here in Michigan.”

That is Ani Turner, the co-author of a report titled “The Business Case for Racial Equity in Michigan.” Written in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the report found that eliminating racial disparities in health, education, incarceration, and employment would generate $92 billion in economic output by 2050.

“Just the order of magnitude of what we could gain economically by closing these gaps. We’re talking about billions of dollars, we’re talking about growing our state economy by 12 percent, even though we are not growing in population, even though we are getting older. If we can get everyone the equal opportunity to succeed, then we will all be better off, and the numbers are significant.

According to the report, those numbers  include $1.5 billion in spending on food, $4 billion on housing, $423 million on apparel, $2 billion on automobiles and transportation, and $625 million on entertainment each year. The report also estimates that 40 percent of Michigan’s workforce will per persons of color by 2050.

“I think that business do care about the quality of workforce in Michigan. They understand talent is critical to their success. The ability to offer a well-trained and well educated workforce is key to not only powering our current businesses but to bringing more investment into the state.”

The report follows in the footsteps of a National report released in April. That report found eliminating racial disparities would grow the United States’ economy by $8 trillion dollars.