McKinsey Week in Charts

A broken ladder?

April 28, 2023

The US higher education system is increasingly failing to deliver on its promise of fostering economic mobility and equity, as enrollment slows, student debt surges, and the sector’s reputation declines. Senior partner Jonathan Law and colleagues find that higher education could graduate ten million more students than currently projected over the next 20 years by taking steps such as narrowing the large gap in completion rates between high- and low-performing two-year and four-year institutions.

To read the report, “Fulfilling the potential of US higher education,” April 17, 2023.

A new space age

April 27, 2023

With the space economy valued at USD 500 billion and growing, executives need to think about making space part of their strategy, managing partner Bob Sternfels and colleagues note. Launch costs have fallen 95 %, as satellites increase cost performance and boost their capability improvements per size, weight, and power by harnessing the scale of commercial electronics such as semiconductors.

To read the article, see “Space: The missing element of your strategy,” March 27, 2023.


Fewer unicorn sightings

April 26, 2023

Growth equity fundraising soared to a record USD 132 billion globally in 2021, but deal momentum fell dramatically in the second half of 2022. The creation rate for unicorns—start-ups with valuation of USD 1 billion or more in private markets—plunged in 2022 compared with 2021, due to overall market slowdown and reduced fundraising, senior partner Alexander Edlich and colleagues explain.

To read the article, see “A winning strategy for growth investors at a time of uncertainty,” April 4, 2023.


Investing in a sustainable future

April 25, 2023

The USD 1 trillion US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is more than a year old, and some spending patterns are becoming apparent. As of January 2023, $10 billion had been awarded to clean-energy projects across the United States, according to partner Adam Barth and coauthors, who note that just three programs—Weatherization Assistance, Battery Materials Processing, and Advanced Reactor Demonstration—account for 70 % of that spending so far.

To read the article, see “One year into the BIL: Catalyzing US investments in energy,” March 20, 2023.


A complex crisis

April 24, 2023

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, at approximately 69,000, surpassed that of New York City and has increased by roughly 56 percent from 2015 to 2022. Senior partners Ashwin Adarkar, Tim Ward, Jonathan Woetzel, and coauthors note that on average, for every 207 people who exit homelessness daily, 227 more enter. Potential solutions to the crisis include increasing the stock of affordable housing and improving collaboration among public and private agencies.

To read the report, see “Homelessness in Los Angeles: A unique crisis demanding new solutions,” March 24, 2023.