The Federal Reserve's Community Development function promotes economic growth and financial stability for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and individuals through a range of activities including convening stakeholders, conducting and sharing research, and identifying emerging issues. As households and communities contend with limited resources and persistent challenges, Community Development is focusing on the structural barriers to getting people back to work and restoring their financial stability.

Low-income and hard-to-employ individuals represent diverse segments of the population, each requiring unique policy considerations to assist with access to quality jobs. Historically, youth, less-educated, rural, and minority workers have been over-represented among the unemployed and have lower labor force participation rates. The Community Development staff also recognizes the unique challenges faced by hard-to-employ populations such as the disabled, the homeless, and ex-offenders.



Who’s at risk at work? How the pandemic exposed job hazards
August 2023

What is driving the continued women’s labor force shortage?
July 2023

Worker Voices
May 2023

Hiring and Retaining Lower-Wage and Noncollege Workers During the Pandemic: Conversations with Employers
March 2023

All Eyes on Texas: Community Colleges Focus on Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow
January 2023

What Are Workers Thinking in 2022?
September 2022

Lowest-Income Workers See Accelerated Earnings Growth During Pandemic
August 2022

Examining the Pandemic's Economic Effects on Women (Consumer & Community Context)
November 2021

Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century (PDF)
February 2021

Employer-Led Approach to Workforce Development Promises to Better Align Texas Workers with In-Demand Jobs
December 2020

Decomposing Outcome Differences between HBCU and Non-HBCU Institutions
July 2020

Some Like It Hot: Assessing Longer-Term Labor Market Benefits from a High-Pressure Economy
January 2018



Uneven Outcomes in the Labor Market: Understanding Trends and Identifying Solutions Conference
February 2024

Gender and the Economy Conference
November 2021

Uneven Outcomes in the Labor Market: Understanding Trends and Identifying Solutions Conference
February 2021

Disparities in the Labor Market: What Are We Missing?
September 2017



A conversation on Skills Through Alternative Routes (STARs)
October 2023


Related Information

Career Ladder Identifier and Financial Forecaster (CLIFF)
A tool from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta that models the interaction of public benefits, taxes, and tax credits with wage progressions. The CLIFF suite currently includes three core tools, each tailored to meet a client's needs in different career stages.

Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity (CWEO)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's CWEO focuses on employment policies and labor market issues that affect low- and moderate-income individuals. It acts as a bridge between research and practice, connecting researchers, businesses, and policymakers with innovative approaches to creating economic opportunity through education and employment. The center also contributes to economic research and monetary policy discussions by tracking labor market trends affecting low- and moderate-income workers.

CWEO's resources include:

  • Ask Us Anything is a series of facilitated discussions about work and the workforce.
  • The Federal Reserve Human Capital Compendium provides access to research published by the Board of Governors and all 12 Federal Reserve Banks on topics related to employment, unemployment, and workforce development.
  • Workforce Currents is a publication series that examines trends in the labor market and workforce development

Fed Listens

Institute for Economic Equity
The Institute for Economic Equity promotes a more equitable economy for households and communities in the Eighth Federal Reserve District and beyond.

Investing In America's Workforce
Investing in America's Workforce is a Federal Reserve System initiative in collaboration with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, the Ray Marshall Center of the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Opportunity Occupations Monitor
The Opportunity Occupations Monitor displays opportunity employment and its prevalence across labor markets. Opportunity employment is an estimate of the number and share of jobs accessible to workers without a bachelor's degree that pay more than the national median wage.



Chair Jerome H. Powell
November 8, 2021
Opening remarks by Chair Powell at the Gender and the Economy Conference

Governor Michelle W. Bowman
August 17, 2022
Working Women in the Pandemic Era

November 29, 2021
Engagement, Research and Policy: Integrating Indigenous Voices into Economic Inclusion at the Federal Reserve

Governor Lisa D. Cook
October 6, 2022
Economic Outlook

Governor Lael Brainard
December 13, 2017
Workforce Development in Today's Economy

September 26, 2017
Why Persistent Employment Disparities Matter for the Economy's Health

May 22, 2017
Why Opportunity and Inclusion Matter to America's Economic Strength

Chair Janet L. Yellen
March 28, 2017
Addressing Workforce Development Challenges in Low-Income Communities

Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin
March 22, 2013
Focusing on Low- and Moderate-Income Americans

May 12-14, 2014
Reinventing Older Communities: Bridging Growth & Opportunity

October 15-17, 2014
Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century

Back to Top
Last Update: November 30, 2023