Native Americans could see political clout, financial boom on horizon

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US President Joe Biden promotes the American Rescue Plan during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, July 15, 2021.

Native Americans saw their jobless rate soar during the pandemic, but a growing population, increasing entrepreneurship and more federal resources could give the community an economic boost, according to a new report from Wells Fargo. 

The jobless rate among Native Americans living outside metro areas rose to nearly 20% during the pandemic as many service jobs disappeared and casinos in tribal communities were shuttered to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the Wells Fargo commentary, which provided a financial snapshot of Indigenous Americans at the start of Native American Heritage Month.

But the number of Americans identifying as indigenous increased by over 27%  to 3.7 million during the last decade compared to a 7.4% uptick in the overall population, according to U.S. Census data. Another roughly 6 million Americans said they had some American Indian or Alaska native ancestry.



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