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Issue #7 | September 26, 2017

Recently, from the Cleveland Fed

  • Economic expansion now in its 9th year

    Economic expansion now in its 9th year

    In a speech earlier this month, Cleveland Fed President and CEO Loretta J. Mester pointed to the progress the US economy has made since the financial crisis and Great Recession, noting that it’s good to remember the economy had to climb out of a very deep hole. Of rebuilding after the recent storms, she stated, “I expect we will see fortitude and resilience as this hard work proceeds. One help is that the underlying fundamentals supporting the economy remain sound.” Read the speech.

  • What’s up in Lexington? Just about everything

    What’s up in Lexington? Just about everything

    The Lexington metro area continues to grow across the board. From 2010 to 2015, the region’s population, education levels, and median household income have all increased, and to a greater degree than the nation’s overall. On top of that, housing prices and residential building permits have been increasing in recent months. Dive into the analysis.

  • Pittsburgh metro area’s employment stays flat

    Pittsburgh metro area’s employment stays flat

    Employment in the Pittsburgh metro area has remained relatively unchanged since 2012, growing just 0.1 percent between January 2012 and December 2016. By contrast, during the same time period, employment grew 3.4 percent in Pennsylvania and 9.1 percent in the nation. Explore the numbers.

  • What’s published 8 times a year and brings economic data to life?

    What’s published 8 times a year and brings economic data to life?

    Produced before each Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Fed’s Beige Book contains information and perspectives on the nation’s regional economies gleaned from business people and from the boards of directors at Federal Reserve Banks. The report supplements data with more current anecdotal accounts of the economy to assist policymakers during FOMC deliberations. See the economy through the Beige Book lens.

Graphic of the Month

Lexington income is rising

The Lexington metro area’s per capita income has been rising steadily, and year-over-year growth rates exceeded 4 percent for the metro area between 2014 and 2015.

Lexington income is rising

By the Numbers

Ask the Expert


How do sectors that arguably lack diversity (such as finance) effectively create sea change that sticks? And why do they want to?


This is something that many disciplines are grappling with, especially in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas, as well as in hiring executive-level talent; it’s not something isolated to our sector. How do you create that diversity? How do you retain that diversity? And I’m not talking just ethnic diversity; it’s gender diversity, internationalism, sexual orientation, physical ability. I previously worked for Case Western Reserve University and know the challenge mirrored itself. We were always concerned with how to recruit diverse students to fill the diverse pipelines of companies.

As we look to recruit more diverse talent, we’ve got to be more creative and we’ve got to be more aggressive. We are developing specialized community outreach programs to promote careers here and to attract potential employees much earlier. It used to be we’d show up first at college career fairs. Now we’re asking, how do we educate high school students on careers in the banking and finance industry?

Also, we’re putting an increased focus on cultivating long–term relationships with top candidates. For example, let’s say we are in the recruiting process, and for whatever reason, we are unsuccessful in bringing a candidate aboard. We continue to steward that relationship; we’re linking in on LinkedIn, inviting them to events, etc. Employees are only staying at companies on average three and a half years, so there could be opportunities with such top talent down the road.

The value of diversity in the workplace has been written about ad nauseam. Therefore, it’s not a business practice that needs to be sold, and it’s no longer an altruistic business practice. It’s not about it being the right thing to do. It’s been proven that diverse teams are more productive, more engaged teams.

Alfie Chatman-Walter

Alfie Chatman-Walter

is manager of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Cleveland Fed.

On the Calendar

  • Investing in America's Workforce Capstone Conference (Austin, TX)

    October 4–6

    Investing in America’s Workforce Capstone Conference (Austin, TX)

  • 2017 Financial Stability and Fintech Conference (Washington DC)

    November 30–December 1

    2017 Financial Stability and Fintech Conference (Washington DC)

From around the Federal Reserve System

“Why Gas Stations Should Raise Prices Following Disruptions”

“Why Gas Stations Should Raise Prices Following Disruptions”

Most of us at some point have likely experienced the effects of rising commodity prices following a natural disaster, whether in the form of higher prices for retail items, increased insurance premiums, or both. Salt in the wound, right? In this new blog post from the St. Louis Fed, two economists explore the economic imperative for gas station owners to raise gas prices in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

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