Black Informality in Chicago

Survival Economies

01

Black informal workers are resilient and creative. They have made lemonade out of lemons and are light years ahead of what policymakers define as alternatives to formal employment.

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Chicago, Divided and Unequal

03

Stubbornly high unemployment rates, especially in South Side and West Side communities, have pushed many Chicagoans into the informal economy.

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Chicago, the city that Survives

04

Many of those engaged in Chicago’s survival economies face a functional exclusion from jobs in the mainstream economy.

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Informality at the nexus of systems failure.

05

The growth of Chicago’s informal economy has occurred in the shadow of the serial failure of public systems, which has deepened social insecurity within predominantly African- American neighborhoods.

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Survival Economies as a Vast Circulatory System

06

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Conclusion

07

It is clear that, for many Americans, the Chicago economy simply is not working.

THE CONCLUSION