federal reserve

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia releases the Anchor Economy Report, dashboard

In an effort to help to determine the economic impact of higher education institutions and hospitals within their regions and how reliant these regions are on these “anchor institutions” to drive their economy, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia developed an Anchor Economy Initiative. It recently published an Anchor Economy Report and created the Anchor Economy Dashboard, a new data set and website that measures employment, income, and gross value added from the institutions and hospitals, along with a new reliance index tool, for all 524 multicounty U.S. regions (394 metropolitan and 130 nonmetropolitan).

Despite economic concerns, recovery efforts boost Americans’ financial well-being, views on higher education explored in latest Fed survey

Although Americans perceptions on the economy dipped late last year, their financial well-being increased and hit its highest level since 2013, when the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System survey began. The results of the latest wide-ranging survey, reported in the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2021, also revealed the share of prime-age adults not working because they could not find work had returned to pre-pandemic levels; more adults would be able to cover a $400 emergency expense should one arise than at any point in the survey history; and, 15 percent of workers said they switched jobs in the previous year, with 60 percent of those reporting that the new job was better overall. The number of student loan borrowers who are behind on their payments declined compared to prior to the pandemic and self-reported financial well-being rose strongly with education.

Fed finds fintech lenders may create more inclusive financial system

A new working paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia used loan-level data from two fintech lenders, Funding Circle and LendingClub, to assess how the companies’ pre-pandemic lending patterns differed from those of traditional banks. The report finds fintechs contribute to a “more inclusive” financial system, expanding credit to more companies and at a lower cost.

Federal Reserve examines racial equity challenges within fintech

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and made more urgent by its financial impact on low-income households and households of color, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Fintech Team and the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program has been exploring how the greater racial equity goals in financial systems intersects with the growing field of digital financial technology, or fintech. The Fed’s August issue of Community Development Innovation Review examines gaps in the financial system and consider ways to address them, looking at the ways elements of fintech either promote or hinder equity and inclusion. It comes at a time when the growing field of fintech is garnering even more attention from investors and established financial institutions. PitchBook’s newly released Emerging Tech Indicator report revealed that fintech was the largest area of VC activity in Q2 this year, with $920 million invested across 29 deals among startups receiving seed and early-stage investments from a select group of top-performing venture capital firms.

Need for new workforce models increases as economy rebuilds

The May jobs report that was released last Friday contained better news than the disappointing numbers from April, with May figures showing 559,000 jobs added and unemployment declining by 0.3 percentage point to 5.8 percent. But the jobs picture remains complicated. This week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were 9.3 million vacant job openings across the country in April, a series high from its start in 2000. With employers reporting that they are facing unprecedented challenges trying to find workers to fill jobs, efforts on several fronts are aimed at returning workers to jobs, and helping them find the skills they need to fill in-demand openings.

Racial disparities in labor market outcomes examined

A new commentary from a senior policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland examines the extent to which disparities exist between Black and whites in labor market outcomes such as levels of labor force participation, unemployment rates, and earnings. Economic inclusion trends have been studied at the national level, but this commentary takes a look at how those disparities vary within and across states with a specific look at the Fourth Federal Reserve District states of Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Federal Reserve and Alabama launch new workforce development tool

In an effort to help Alabamians advance into higher-paying careers and understand how higher income from new careers can establish a path toward self-sufficiency, the state of Alabama and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta have partnered to launch a new career tool. The Dashboard for Alabamians to Visualize Income Determinations (DAVID) is designed to help low-income workers fearful of the benefits cliff (the sudden loss of public assistance as income increases) attain economic self-sufficiency as they plan for future career development. Gov. Kay Ivey said in a release that the tool will help Alabama reach its attainment goal of adding 500,000 credentialed workers to the workforce by 2025.

St. Louis Fed research shows links between financial distress and vulnerability to COVID-19, offers guidance on fiscal policy

Early-stage research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis examines the correlations between an area’s level of financial distress and its vulnerability to both the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fed’s initial findings indicate that areas with low levels of financial distress were infected with the coronavirus and reached the point of exponential growth in new infections before areas experiencing greater levels of financial distress, while the rate of new infections is higher in more distressed areas. It also finds that a greater share of workers from areas of higher distress work in industries that are more vulnerable to the economic shocks caused by the virus than workers from areas of lower financial distress.

The growing college wealth divide — a quick look

While the income benefits of a college education receive frequent attention, a recent article from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis highlights the importance of a college degree for wealth accumulation. The average wealth for a college-educated household has tripled since the 1970s, while wealth for households without degrees have remained stagnant. These divergent trends in economic well-being are further evidence of the growing inequality among Americans, and the rising importance of education to staying ahead of this divide.

While economic expansion continues, several states forecasted to experience contractions

While the longest economic expansion in modern times in the U.S. continues and fears of a nationwide recession have subsided, there are signs that growth is slowing, and some states may be at risk for a recession. According to projections reported last month from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, several states’ economies are forecasted to slide into varying degrees of contraction within the next six months — the most since the financial crisis over a decade ago.


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