Economic mobility is the ability of a person to move up or down the income ladder during their life & across generations.
Access to healthcare, capital, quality housing, and living wage jobs as well as historical, social, and economic trends impact economic mobility.
If you finish school, learn a trade, and work hard, you should earn a living with dignity and stability. With a little extra work, you should be able to move up in your career, increase your earnings, and leave something for your family to build on. That’s the promise that we’ve extended for generations and the reason why so many people look to our country -- and cities like ours -- for a fair shot at a good life.
In the last several decades, however, we know that this promise is increasingly untrue. If you were 30 years old in 1969, you had a 90% chance of making more than your parents at the same age. Today, that number is below 50%. Millenials are the first generation in America to be worse off than their parents.
Economic mobility also varies considerably according to geography. The southern US continues to struggle in comparison to the rest of the country.
Restoring the Chattanooga Dream
With input from our community, we will build a concrete plan for improving economic mobility in our city. We will discuss how we can increase wages at the bottom, yes, but also how to make sure there are more chances for Chattanoogans to improve their lives all along the ladder.